5 Leadership Lessons From The Karate Kid

As part of Fathers Day weekend, my family and I went to see The Karate Kid.  It is a very enjoyable movie that reflects well on the 80’s original.  Jaden Smith playing the role of Dre’ Parker does an excellent job in this movie.  As a parent, I am also always glad when movies come out that we can all see together.  Great time that we all enjoyed.

Similar to a post I did on Iron Man 2, extracting leadership principles from the movies I watch always makes the experience more enjoyable for me.  I know, I’m weird. However, when looking through a leadership lens, the following are five lessons that I feel we can take from this movie and apply to our lives.  Let me know what you think.

  1. Where There Is Great Trouble, There Is Great Opportunity – It was through Dre’s difficult experiences in adjusting to a new environment and with the people in his life that provided him the opportunity to have a defining moment.  If you are struggling with people or circumstances, don’t fret as your breakthrough may be just around the corner.  For more information on this topic, see a previous post called Options – 4 Practices That Can Change Your Life.
  2. Little Things Have Great Meaning – Whether it’s how or if you hang up a jacket, talk to your mother, pour water, or enter a room, Dre’ learned that when fundamentals are compounded, they matter a great deal.  My wife was telling me a story this weekend about how she got her first job.  Others were more qualified, but she said “Yes Ma’am” to the person conducting the interview.  The supervisor figured if she treated her well, she would treat her customers well.  She was right.  Little things matter
  3. Secret Admirers – I don’t mean this in a sexual way.  What I mean is you never know who is watching what is happening in your life.  They may admire your skills, passion, or how you approach life.  As a result, they may want to make an investment in you or send resources your way.  See Everyone Has Tape On You for more insights regarding this principle.
  4. Private Preparation Proceeds Public Success – Dre’ spends a tremendous amount of time training for the tournament.  The training was hard (sit ups, push ups, running, contact drills) but also very creative (jacket, Great Wall).  You will never rise to the level of public success over the price you are willing to pay for it privately.
  5. Everybody Loves A Winner – Just like in the original, when Dre’ wins the tournament (c’mon you knew that was going to happen!), the class bully Cheng hands him the trophy.  Nothing brings people together like excellence and winning.  If you feel unappreciated in any area of your life, look for ways to declare victory.

On the Brian Dodd scale of grading, I give The Karate Kid 4/5 football helmets.  It is a feel good movie that you can take your whole family to.  Go see it!  One other thought, Jaden Smith is an unbelievably athletic 12-year old.  I wonder when I am going to be writing about him regarding the sporting side of his life?  How did you like the movie?


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.

3 Responses to “5 Leadership Lessons From The Karate Kid”

  1. mikelinch Great post from a great friend! Check it out!! RT @BrianKDodd: 5 Leadership Lessons From The Karate Kid: http://wp.me/pVReH-7M

  2. ServingStrong Great insight // RT @paulsteinbrueck RT @BrianKDodd: 5 Leadership Lessons From The Karate Kid: http://wp.me/pVReH-7M

  3. Good post, Brian. In particular points 1 & 4 resonate with me. I think for any of us to accomplish anything great, first we have to have the perspective that “Where There Is Great Trouble, There Is Great Opportunity,” and second we have to be dedicated to train so that we are prepared when opportunities arise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: