Article: Bow down: Po's heroic takedown & leadership lesson


Bow down: Po's heroic takedown & leadership lesson

Leadership is about mentorship, accountability, and inspiring respect through brave and selfless actions.
Bow down: Po's heroic takedown & leadership lesson

 Last night I went to watch Kung Fu Panda 4 along with family and friends. Movies like these are emotions! And the 4th one is no less than that. As I immersed myself in the storyline, I found myself reflecting on a few key insights and would love to share them with you.

 Succession is leadership accountability: The movie starts with conversations between Master Shifu and Po (Dragon Warrior) as Master Shifu has plans to elevate him to the next level as “Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace”. In his conversation, Master Shifu makes it very clear that it is Po’s accountability to find a successor and train him/her for the role of Dragon Warrior. Isn’t the same for corporates as well? To move to the next level, it is the leaders’ prime accountability to create the succession and develop them for the role. The next role doesn’t come only by task. It comes with creating succession and in turn, ensuring stability for the organisation as well.

Have faith in your leadership team: When Master Shifu shared the news of next-level elevation with Po, he was uncomfortable. He could not understand what the role of a Spiritual leader is all about. But Master Shifu had that faith and ensured he would do a good job in his new role. In corporates as well we many a time come across situations when we don’t understand why this move. Do I have the necessary skills? Will I fail? In such situations have faith in your leadership team and go with the flow. They might have seen something which you are not able to. 

 Your successor may not be like you: Be open to exploring different personalities: During the process of finding the villain in a nearby city, Po encounters Zen, a fox, who proves herself as a successor with her skills and attitude. In corporates also many times we are stuck with the mindset - “ he/she is not like me. How can they be my successor”. It is important to explore different aspects of leadership to find the right successor for your role. It could be a young chap but with great potential, could be a lady who has shown her mettle or could be from a different culture but has astuteness and leadership skills to run a business and drive teams. Be open to change!

 Successor development is leadership role: Towards the end, there's a powerful scene in Kung Fu Panda 4 where Po mentors Zen in martial arts and the responsibilities of being the "Dragon Warrior." It's a profound example of leadership: taking ownership of nurturing your success and ensuring their success. While their triumphs are theirs to celebrate, their setbacks become your responsibility.

Also read: How to think remarkable, according to tech titan Guy Kawasaki

Leadership is commanded, not demanded: After Po's courageous capture of the villain, "the chameleon," and his liberation of all the masters from her spell, they collectively express their admiration by bowing down in respect to his valour. This moment illustrates how true leadership inspires reverence through acts of bravery and selflessness.

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Topics: Leadership, Leadership Development

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