Leadership Lessons from Iron Man 2

My wife and I saw Iron Man 2 today. First, it is so great to have a wife who will put up with popcorn movies! Second, you need to know that I am a typical MAN! I like sports, red meat, and lots of action. Therefore, when I go to a movie, I’m looking for two hours of fun, a lot of special effects, and mass destruction and carnage.

With that as a backdrop, here are several thoughts about my movie experience today.

  • Without a father in the home, there is rudderless thinking. The turning point of the movie was a message posthumously given to Tony Stark by his late father. It is a reminder that the fundamental role of leadership in a church, organization, or the home is to provide direction and intent. For fathers, this movie provides a tangible demonstration that we are daily setting precedent for a time we cannot see.
  • We paid $10 each for an IMAX experience and the movie was 80% full for a 10:30 AM showing. There are economic issues in this country but people have money to apply it to where their heart is. In this case, it’s entertainment. Pastors, don’t hold off on building projects or capital campaigns because “you’re people are struggling”. They have the resources. You just need to let them know the compelling nature of your project.
  • I have been to probably hundreds of movies in my lifetime. This was the first time that producers of the movie surveyed the attendees. There was solid, probing questions. Furthermore, they thanked me for my time and thoughts and stated that several Marvel Comics movies were forthcoming (Thor, Captain America, The Avengers) and our comments would greatly impact those productions. If a movie that will generate over $400 million is interested in the thoughts of the attendees, how important are tools like the Reveal study for church leaders?
  • There are only two action sequences. Granted both are exciting, but I wanted more action and felt a little unfulfilled because there was too much story. However, the first encounter between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Ivan Vanko is as tense an action sequence as I’ve seen in a long time. You must give the audience what they’re looking for. If I want to see a movie about relationships, I would have seen the excellent Mylie Cyrus movie The Last Song again.
  • The quality of an action movie is always determined by the antagonist. In IM2, Mickey Rourke was spectacular and the best part of the movie. Your joy of victory will never exceed the level of what it takes to overcome your opposition in movies or real life. Tony Stark had to overcome a lot in this movie.
  • The Law of the Inner Circle taught by John Maxwell (http://www.johnmaxwell.com/) tells us that those closest to you will determine your level of success. Lt. Col. Rhodey Rhodes (played by Don Cheadle) and Natalie (Scarlett Johansson) played key roles in Stark’s ultimate success. Any level of success achieved by you will never be attained without the help of many. As the old saying goes, if you see a turtle on a fencepost, you know it didn’t get there without help.

On the Brian Dodd scale of grading (one to five football helmets), I give IM2 2.5 helmets. Great special effects and two fantastic action sequences. It’s worth a watch but I just wanted more action and stuff blown up. Just call me a typical guy.


About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.


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