The 5 Most Inspirational Leaders From Movies

3 min read
Dec 2, 2016

Hollywood bossesTo celebrate bosses across the globe, Will Lerner writing for Yahoo!, put together a list of the five best movie bosses. The holiday may be over, but that’s no reason not to celebrate what makes a great boss. Like yours, maybe?


01. Mr. MacMillan in Big

Big the movieSOURCE:

The late Robert Loggia played the boss of FAO Schwartz in Big. When his new employee, Josh, exhibits a fresh, childlike perspective — hey, he is only 12 mentally — MacMillan doesn’t force him into conformity. Instead, the boss revels in an opportunity to share Josh’s excitement, and he’s eager to hear Josh’s very un-corporate opinions.

A good boss appreciates genuine enthusiasm and is always on the hunt for great ideas, regardless of who they come from.


02. Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight

The Dark KnightSOURCE:

Fox is the paragon of smarts, cool, and integrity. He deals with company politics calmly and patiently as he rises to the top of Wayne Enterprises. And then he gives up his position in protest when Bruce Wayne decides to surveil everyone in Gotham City. It may be necessary, but Fox won’t be part of it.

A good boss never loses sight of doing the right thing. Being a moral person remains a core value that seldom actually conflicts with sound business. And when a company considers a morally questionable action, a good boss can be counted on to speak up.


03. Walter "Robby" Robinson in Spotlight


Robby Robinson is a real-life editor. Here’s a guy who made a serious, damaging error in judgment by choosing not to report on a list of abusive priests 20 years ago. When he learns of a abuse cover-up in 2011, he doesn’t hesitate to follow the story, doing his job without pausing for a moment to consider how bad it makes his younger self look.

We all make mistakes, but a good boss knows that what counts is starting out each day with the commitment to doing the best job possible. Yesterday and its mistakes — even when they sting — are not as important as meeting today’s challenges head-on.


04. Calvin Palmer in Barbershop


Ice Cube plays the lovable grump who acts tough but is clearly driven by a deep caring for his staff and community. His actions peak louder than his irascible words in support of his crew, even though he’s often close to losing the family business.

There may be nothing better a boss can do for employees than to help them feel at all times, in even the toughest circumstances, that they have their employees backs. When a worker feels that support, it’s the most natural thing in the world to want to reciprocate by doing great work.


05. Jules Ostin in The Intern

The InternSOURCE:

In The Intern, Ostin, is assigned a 70-year-old intern. Instead of simply writing the older man off, she realizes she’s got a unique resource at her disposal in her new charge’s professional and life experience and work ethic.

A good boss knows that anyone worthy enough to hire has unique qualities that can make the overall team stronger, and strives to bring them out. It’s even better when a boss has the gift for doing so.

The movies are full of managers armed with soul-crushing TPS reports. But sometimes Hollywood reminds us that there are plenty of good ones too. And they help us recognize the empowering bosses with admirable leadership qualities we come across in our own careers.



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