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Movies That Teach Lessons On Business and Leadership

Whether it is the transient ups and downs of Chris Gardner’s life, who makes efforts to protect his family from sliding into poverty and struggling between life and death or a compelling story of a young, impatient stockbroker with a desire to get rich and the harder lessons he learns.

Movies are entertaining, but when you take a closer look at them you will realise that they provide valuable life lessons too. A few of them can have a strong impact on your life and can leave you with important takeaways that can just change the way you see life. 

Let’s go through some of the best movies of all time, which were a visual treat and a life-changing factor for people. 

1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

“You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves; they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it.”

Premise: Based on Chris Gardener’s story, The Pursuit of Happyness is a heartwarming tale of a hard-working father who rises above all the curveballs life throws at him. Not able to make enough money, Chris’ wife leaves him all alone with his son. The movie showcases Chris’s struggles and how he manages to become a stockbroker and make an honest living for his son. 

The Lesson

The movie is a lesson in how to deal with financial hurdles and cope with the adversities without giving up. We can look up to Chris’ sheer dedication and how he puts in the work to get the one paid job and a brokerage firm and care for his son. It begs attention that it doesn’t matter where or when you start, hard work and dedication always pays off. 

2. The Social Network (2010)

A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

Premise: The movie, based on Mark Zuckerburg’s life, shows us the process behind creating the world’s largest social media platform. Mark’s journey as a Harvard student; how he develops a social media network called Facebook and has to face struggles and lawsuits.

The lesson: 

Packed with valuable business lessons, the movie goes on to teach us about angel investing, seed funding, and entrepreneurial lessons. You gain enough knowledge about venture capital financing when Mark and Severin bump heads and shake hands with noted PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel and others. Low funding and extreme challenges reveal the dark side of startup culture. 

3. Wall Street (1987)

“Greed is good.”

Premise: Set in the backdrop of the largest and most famous stock market, Wall Street revolves around greed and trappings of an erratic system. Played by Michael Douglas, Gordon Gekko is the ultimate unprincipled corporate raider. What follows is Gekko’s unmitigated greed and the lessons learned by Charlie Sheen’s character, Bud Fox.

The Lesson

Wall Street touches upon the common dilemma; we all must have faced in our lives, i.e. greed for money and power. It shows how people who get excessively consumed by the desire of money end up ruining their lives. Wall Street warns us about the perils of insider trading, although Charlie Sheen’s and Michael Douglas’s skillful performance will ground you too. 

However, it carefully stresses how waking up each day for the sole purpose of earning money is an act of self-sabotage. 

4. The Godfather (1972)

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Premise: Whether you’re the head of the Corleone crime family or an IT team lead, this iconic movie will surely teach you great business lessons. Though Don Vito Corleone had never used Excel and Microsoft Project, the film revolves around his skills of delivering projects and getting results. 


Of course, drawing parallelism between entrepreneurs and mobsters is a bit wild but worth noting too. The Godfather teaches you the art of communication, the value of unbiased opinions, and the power of soft skills. Moreover, the biggest takeaway from The Godfather is to realise that everything is a two-way street. People will stand up for you and help you only when you do the same for them. 

5. Moneyball (2011)

“Many are called, few are chosen”

Premise: A true story about defying the norms and doing things your own way, Moneyball is the perfect example of why we need to get away with archaic, traditional practices. Based on Michael Lewis’s book of the same name Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the movie teaches you to work within a limited budget and shine through with it. 


To quote Richard Branson, “Listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” Billy Beane listening to Peter Brand, who had just started his professional career, tells us how crucial it is to pay attention to what others have to say. The movie also showcases how important it is to understand and bridge the gap between perception and reality.

The journey, from a downtrodden franchise to a winner, is an example of how constructive criticism can make you better. 


Movies are fun, but if you dig deeper, you realise that they carry a sense of responsibility and understanding. They can teach, affirm your ideas and inspire you to ditch that comfort zone. The power of cinema and storytelling is definitely worth taking note of. 

And when it comes to business or life lessons? Well, there are no shortages in the content either. Have we missed your favourite movie on leadership and business? Tell us in the comments below. 

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