Is Jungle Book movie just kids’ movie? I thought so before entering the movie hall. But, once I walked out, I realized it had few learning for us adults as well. In fact, I could draw a lot of parallels between jungle situation and corporate environment. In each of the animal characters, I could visualize a type of person we often meet in our daily lives at work.
1) Register the tricks shared by mentors: The Jungle Book movie opens with the race between Bagheera-The Panther and Moghli, which Bagheera wins. Though Moghli is disappointed at losing the race, he ends up learning the key lesson about Dead Trees. Well, many of us would have assumed that shot being ‘just a perfect opening’, while little did we realized in the beginning that this lesson would play a crucial role in the climax of the movie. Moghli remembered the trick and leveraged it to win the battle against Sher Khan. It’s a classic learning for young professionals that they should not only learn the tricks shared by mentors, but also register them firmly in their minds. Who knows, those tricks might come to your rescue a decade later!
2) Show team spirit not only during good times but also during crisis: There were numerous instances in the Jungle Book movie where team spirit was displayed. We all enjoy our happy-go times in corporate celebrating each other’s birthdays, team accomplishments, etc. But, the key lesson the movie tries to drive is to maintain the team spirit even during crisis situations like the Water Truce instance or the final battle against Sher Khan, while all animals got together to fight the beast.
3) Look for the dependable savior around and hold on to them: Let’s admit, it’s tough to find such a mentor in today’s professional life. Yes, but its not impossible! We just have to be careful in evaluating people and not get swayed by the fancy degrees one has, or the higher numerical job experience one flaunts. More than these tangible elements, what we all look for in a dependable savior like Bagheera-The Panther, is a person whom we can trust at all times, and whom we can depend on relevant and valuable advice.
4) Beware of people who might deceive you: Oh, we all would have encountered one such person in our lives like Moghli had with Kaa-The Snake, in the Jungle Book movie. We need to be extra vigilant from such people who possess sharp skills to deceive people in their own game. Though, this is tough to have a skill, we should regularly train ourselves in evaluating people whom we interact and beware from such people.
5) Negotiate smartly: Corporate life is all about negotiations with clients / colleagues / superiors. The Jungle Book movie beautifully exhibited couple of trade-off situations – Baloo-The Bear’s negotiation with Moghli to get him honey from high rocks, King Louie’s negotiation with Moghli to get him Red Flower (fire), Sher Khan’s negotiation to get him Moghli himself. Only one of these three negotiations materialized, while the other two had to meet fatal end. Negotiation is one of the key skills that modern day professionals are expected to have, irrespective of the job profile they are in. We professionals need to gradually inculcate this art and excel at it.
6) Avoid stereotyping: Just because few men caused fire in the jungle, Sher Khan-The Tiger assumed Moghli’s father also to destroy the jungle. Sher Khan-The Tiger, in the Jungle Book movie attacked Moghli’s father and killed him just as he had stereotype about all human beings. We often stereotype people based on their caste, religion, college etc. Its a great lesson for all of us to avoid stereotyping and judge the situation based on its merit.
7) Capitalize on limited resources: The Jungle Book beautifully showed how Moghli made the most of limited resources that were available to him. Many a times in the corporate we face situations where resources are limited and we have a steep milestone to be achieved. One should not put down the towel citing limited resources as a reason, but should work around them and achieve the end objective.
8) Don’t aspire for false pride: There is a huge difference between aspiring for false pride and working towards success relentlessly. King Louie – The Bandar King in Jungle Book movie aspired to become powerful by claiming the red flower (fire), as he thought it to be the key ingredient of being powerful. Success doesn’t come easily and it definitely doesn’t come from imitating the other’s tricks. Even if you imitate you got to understand the relevance of those tricks in your situations. We need to craft our own success path instead of trying to find shortcuts from other’s success.
9) Avoid over-confidence: Sher Khan-The Tiger in the Jungle Book movie had enormous over confidence about this strength. He thought he would easily win over the young kid. However, the battle was won by the kid. Many of us tend to be over confident once we reach the zenith of our career. This learning mostly applies to all senior leaders who think they have achieved their highest point in the career and can’t be brought down. Well, it’s a big mistake. One should never underestimate the younger generation and their capabilities to surpass us.
10) Show loyalty: In the Jungle Book movie, though Moghli realized that he didn’t belong to the wolves race, he chose to stay with them. As soon as his life was in danger, he could have easily moved to the village and saved his life. But, he chose to fight the situation and always considered himself to be one amongst the other animals in the jungle. We professionals too need to show our loyalty towards our organizations. However, the key aspect of loyalty is that it should flow from both sides. Like, in the Jungle Book movie, even animals showed love and respect to Moghli. Similarly, in reality organizations need to respect and appreciate their employees and not treat them just as replaceable resources!
Usually in such movies (like Life of Pi), we appreciate the cinematography, while most of us ignore the message that the movie makers are trying to convey. While I was watching the movie, I could relate lot of characters to people around me in corporate and personal situations.
I hope you would find these lessons to be useful. Did you have any other lesson from the movie? Please share in the comments section below.