The Lion King And His Road To Leadership

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.

How to be a Harry Potter in the world of Muggles

Over the last 20 years, Harry Potter has impacted millions of us, crossing time and generations when doing so.

How many of us have grown up wishing to be a wizard and waiting for our letter from Hogwarts? I bet that right now, somewhere in the world, there’s a kid dreaming about the wizarding world, wishing to be a part of it.

harry potter flying on a hippogriff

Magic aside, the series taught us some most important things that we need to focus on in our life. From the first book and until the most recent movies, there’s always a new lesson about responsibility and leadership.

Haven’t you noticed it?

Here are some 4 lessons I learnt with Harry Potter:

 

1. Leaders are made, they are not born

As an infant, Harry survived an attack by Lord Voldemort, and acquired fame as “The Boy Who Lived”.

He grew up without knowing any of that and, when he entered the wizarding world, he was surprised to know the legends about him and how heroic everyone considered him. Despite this, he remained grounded and was always seeking to learn and gain more knowledge, rather than just taking a heroic status that was gifted upon him by others.

Harry Potter as a baby

In the end, Harry owned his title as a hero through his own actions and leadership skills, right?

He didn’t accept that it was his responsibility to be a hero because of people telling him that. Instead, he made it his responsibility because he saw the importance of his actions and decisions.

A true leader is not told to be a leader, but they just can’t stand in front of injustice and do nothing. They have strong values, as Harry had.

We can see this change also in many other characters, such as Neville Longbottom.

Starting as a modest child with low confidence, Neville mishandled his way through secondary school, once in a while leaving a positive impact on anybody he met with.

neville longbottom saying he'll fight his friends

For several times he showed purpose and bravery. Because of his own strong will to evolve during the years that he spent in Hogwarts, Neville could grow a lot in confidence. He assumed an instrumental part in the last Clash of Hogwarts, again showing that leaders are made, not born.

2. Knowing its own strengths it’s a big step in leadership

In Harry’s 5th year at Hogwarts, the school goes through hard changes in its rules and class schedules. This happened because the Ministry of Magic didn’t want young wizards talking about the return of Voldemort. It was pure censorship.

Most of the students were angry at the new policies, as they felt powerless and vulnerable without the chance to learn Defence Against the Dark Arts in such uncertain times.

Hermione took the lead and proposed the arrangement of a secret study group. She knew how Harry had a lot of practical knowledge in Defence Against the Dark Arts, due to his past experiences with Voldemort, and suggested him (not to say pushed) to lead the Dumbledore’s Army (D.A.).

Dumbledore claping and subtitles "Dumbledore is pleased"

That’s where Harry got really aware about his potential.

Maybe he would never have accepted that if Hermione didn’t tell it to his face. Sometimes you just need someone telling you: “you should do this because you’re good at it”.

And thanks Hermione for that,  after all, leadership is a lot about how well you know yourself, right?

3. True leaders inspire others to be better

Dumbledore’s Army began with the aim of being a place to study and practise magic, going against the new wave of authority at Hogwarts, but it ended up filling a substantially bigger need.

The students who went to D.A. gatherings where the people who needed to learn and enhance their magic, and they built up their aptitudes at a quick rate through Harry’s direction.

Dumbledore's Army claping

Later that year, when a battle was approaching, Harry was prepared to fight without anyone else. He felt it was his responsibility alone and that he couldn’t ask anyone to risk themselves.

But a good leader makes people feel capable and empowered. Hence, Neville stood up and said that the whole D.A. should go to, as this was their opportunity to fight and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

By role modelling courage and bravery, and putting time into building up his companions, Harry could enable and empower different leaders. After Harry fled Hogwarts, years later, Neville assembled and led a new D.A.,  preparing them to face the last battle at Hogwarts.

Dumbledore's Army had something worth fighting for

This is a true sign of effective leadership – by empowering his followers, Harry helped new leaders to come up.

4. No one can lead alone

Harry, Hermione and Ron are regularly admired for how complementary they are and how solid their bond is. The trio shows how the best leaders are the individuals who centre around their qualities.

Aren’t they just friendship goals?

Harry Ron and Hermione laughing in the snow

Harry never hesitates to speak his mind, he makes the team be fearless and talk about ‘unspeakable’ things. He is confident and free, ready to trust in his abilities in face of troubles and huge difficulties.

He‘s also driven by an inborn need to put things right.

Hermione is a supplier and an anchor. She is ingenious and mindful and adopts an exceptionally even minded strategy. As opposed to Harry, she’s able to control her impulses and think things through before acting, something that comes in hand many times, when others couldn’t think properly.

Ron, in the meantime, ties the gathering together with his feeling of loyalty and brotherhood. His benevolence and will to help other people, even if shown in the goofiest way, is just lovely.

gryffindor students cheering

5. Leaders don’t close their eyes to the issues around them

During the entire Harry Potter series, Harry and his friends were always concerned about the issues Hogwarts was going through. They were willing to anything at risk the course of exploring the problems and looking for solutions, always keeping in mind the safety of the other students.

They just couldn’t close their eyes when something seemed wrong.

Hermione breaking rules

That’s how true leaders are, right? Our world is our Hogwarts and we have to learn about the issues that it is facing now.

After all, we are the one, who have to stand-out, like these incredible wizards, and take action to make our life legen-wait for-it-Dary!

Let’s take the first step and be a Wizard of change in the world full of muggles?


Let us know in the comments if you ever did some magic to make the world a better place!
We’d love to know it 🙂

 

If you like this post you may also like: Things we wish the school would have taught us”.

Do you want to make a difference and contribute towards United Nations’ SDGs?
Check out our opportunities at www.aiesec.in


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

The Power of Understanding Different Cultures

AIESEC believes in developing socially conscious leaders of today who are passionate about the world and solving its issues, to leave behind a positive impact. We envision “Peace and fulfilment of humankind potential”, but how do we achieve this “peace” that we envision?

Simple. We send young people on exchange experiences.

Here is only one of the 26,000 stories we create every year!

La’ala and Tünde – A friendship forged through an exchange of cultures

La’ala is an Exchange Participant who recently went on exchange to China; she believed teaching kids in rural areas would bring about a new perspective and meaning to life. What she didn’t know was that the people she would meet while on exchange would leave behind an even greater impression on her than the kids.

Tünde is an Austrian Exchange Participant whom La’ala met and taught classes with during her internship.

La'ala and Tunde - 2 different cultures on exchange

Now, La’ala and Tünde come from completely different backgrounds – one is a Muslim; the other is a Christian. What lies in the beauty of this friendship is that these two exchange participants managed to find a connection in spite of their “differences.” La’ala said, “the topic of God came up and we just got lost in it, sharing similar perspectives and agreeing that religion is just a way of life”.

This friendship developed through exchange is just an example of how we are truly one as humankind. It’s not about anything else other than being connected – to recognize that we have differences- in culture, religion, and more – but also to find similarities through those differences.

The answers to the problems the world faces today are simple; they do not revolve around complex chemical weapons and war plans to solve issues and achieve peace. It simply lies in the love and friendship we make with another to fulfil our potential as human beings.

This experience has prompted La’ala to come back to Bahrain and take on a career of being a schoolteacher through which she aims to pass upon her learnings that she received while on exchange to her students. The exchange experience has also inspired Tünde to deliver a sermon at her local church, sharing her experience in hopes of inspiring her community to develop more awareness about other cultures.

Have you had a similar exchange of cultures? Where did you experience something like this?

 

If you are looking to go on an internship that will provide you with a different cultural experience, please go to opportunities.aiesec.org and check out all our available internships or read about other cultural experiences at culture-shock.me