The Lion King And His Road To Leadership

lion king simba

For most of us, The Lion King was an important part of our young lives. It is a moving story about the circle of life, that portrays a lion cub’s journey to adulthood and the royal throne.

If for some reason you don’t know the story, here’s a brief summary.

Simba is the son of the powerful and beloved King Mufasa. He is an honored prince who is far from danger, as he grows up in a very caring family and a protected environment. But his happy days turn into tragedy when his cunning and evil uncle, Scar, murders his father and influences Simba to think that the tragedy was a fault.

Scared and guilty, Simba runs from the kingdom and lands in a jungle. There he learns to live a carefree life with his new friends Pumbaa, the warthog, and Timon, the meerkat.

The story rolls on for some time and takes a turn the day his father’s spirit visits him and asks him to go back and defeat the wicked Scar to repossess his Rightful Throne.

After rewatching The Lion King for the umpteenth time after growing up, it becomes clear that the movie was full of life lessons and that it shapes our own lives.

With The Lion King we learned about right and wrong, the importance of following your heart, and some other things that we’re about to list for you now:

1. Respect others, regardless of who they are or where they stand

“Mufasa: Simba, everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As a king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.

Simba: But dad, don’t we eat the antelope?

Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.

From a young age, Mufasa taught Simba that even though lions are the most powerful animals in the kingdom, they would be nothing without the other species existing in their ecosystem.

Life is all about respecting and treating others the way you wish to be treated.

There are leaders and then there are those who lead. Every individual is an important part of your life and you must respect that person. That is what makes you a good leader.

Actions, not position matters.

2. Lead by Example

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe in you.”

– Mufasa

Scar was under the impression that all of the animals would become his loyal followers once he became the next king.  However, this was not the case.

He learned it the hard way that demanding respect is not the same as earning respect.

Simba, on the other hand, became a leader in his own right, by treating outsiders Timon and Pumbaa with respect.  The same applies to us – leadership is not just about having a glamorous title, but rather it is earned by gaining the respect of your co-members.

If you are a leader of a team, your responsibility is to lead and make sure that your members are growing with you along the way.

3. Believe in the Power of Hakuna Matata

“It means no worries for the rest of your days!” 

– Timon and Pumbaa

Is there a better life motto than this?

No, we reply. Because we’ve all been there, thinking about how much time we waste worrying about what needs to be done, instead of focusing on the task at hand.

While some worrying is healthy, chronic worrying actually makes you far less productive at work.

Living by Timon and Pumbaa’s “problem-free philosophy” will help to keep you focused on one project at a time, motivating you to get those tasks checked off your to-do list.

4. Leadership is not about position

“There’s more to being king than just getting your way all the time.” 

-Mufasa

Right in the beginning, Simba famously sings about how he “just can’t wait to be King.” But seeing his father Mufasa meet his untimely fate due to his position showed Simba that being King isn’t a role to take lightly.

Mufasa taught Simba some great lessons about life and leadership and made some big decisions as a ruler to keep everyone safe and content.

A leader must know what he’s in for and be willing to accept the full responsibilities of the role – for better or for worse. Deep inside we all are very powerful to accomplish great things. All we need is the realization that I Can Do It’.

5. Become a Lifelong Learner

“Oh yes, the past can hurt.  But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” 

– Rafiki

One of the major plot points throughout The Lion King is watching Simba grow from a rambunctious cub to a fierce lion.  

Along this journey, Simba learned valuable lessons from Mufasa, Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa. All of them shaped him into an effective leader once it was time to take his rightful place as King.  

A good leader should strive to be like Simba by taking a lifelong learner mindset.  

Realize who you are and unlock your true potential, by tapping into the power of your deepest motives and values. True leaders commit to perpetual growth, discovery, and learning.

Another sub-life-lesson, just because everyone tells you that you’re a lion, doesn’t mean you can’t do non-lion-y stuff. You should be whoever you want to be, and eat whatever you want to eat.

As you can see, just because it’s tagged as “childhood movie” doesn’t mean it’s just for children!

There are many lessons we can – and should- take from our childhood. So next time you are wondering what to do on a Saturday night when it’s raining, just think to yourself “Hakuna-Matata!”

Which other movies have inspired you to be a better person?  Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this blog, you may also like: 6 Life Lessons That FRIENDS Taught Us


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

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