Today I saw The Amazing Spider Man 2.  If you are looking for just a fun two hours, this is the movie for you.  Plenty of action, special effects and a multitude of villains.  It is definitely worth the time for any regular movie goer.  And there are some GREAT leadership lessons in this film.

The following are 20 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From The Amazing Spider Man 2:

  1. Leaders Must Manage People’s Expectations – Leaders must give the audience what it wants and more.  As I entered the theater area, a nice lady said, “Stay for a weird scene after the credits.  They originally didn’t have one but everybody got so mad, Sony put a scene from the upcoming X-Men movie in there.”
  2. Everyone Has Value – The only appreciable asset in any church or organization is people.  Upon Peter Parker/Spider Man’s initial meeting with Max Dillon/Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, Parker said, “You’re not a nobody.  You’re somebody.”
  3. Human Life Is Precious – The death rate for all humans is still hovering at 100%.  Leaders must steward their time well because leadership is temporary.  Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, says in a graduation speech, “What makes life valuable is it doesn’t last for forever.  What makes it precious is it ends.”
  4. “Don’t just follow the path.  Make you own trail.” – Leaders are trailblazers who take people where they cannot go on by themselves.
  5. Leaders Need People Who Love Them Because Of Who You Are, Not What They Do – Stacy tells Parker, “You’re Spider Man but I love Peter Parker more.”
  6. Good Leadership Is Often Unappreciated – Leaders often have monuments built of them from the stones previously thrown at them.  Early in the film, there was a debate over whether Spider Man was a vigilante or hero.
  7. Success Is Not Worth Sacrificing Your Family For – Both Parker as well as his father sacrificed relationships with those they love because of their work.  Each would say the trade was not worth it.
  8. Facilitating Change Is Not For Cowards – Experienced leaders know that no one likes change but a baby.  Norman Osborn tells his son Harry on his death bed, “Change begins with hard work and persistence.”
  9. Everyone Has Value – I once had a supervisor tell me, “Brian, be careful whose toes you step on.  They may one day be attached to the rear end you have to kiss.”  Therefore, treat everyone with respect.  Dillon was treated by most at Oscorp with disrespect because he was simply an electrical engineer in a company full of scientists.
  10. The Power Of A Godly Spouse – Leaders wrestle with complexity.  The person who brings the most simplicity to my leadership is my wife.  I was reminded of this when Oscorp told Stacy, “He (Parker) needs you to help make his choices clear.”
  11. Power And Success Make Leaders More Of Who We Already Are – Becoming Electro made Dillon more of who he was – an angry individual longing for attention and acceptance.
  12. Friendships Are Unexpected Casualties During The Leadership Journey – Because of his path and “calling”, Parker lost Harry and Dillon as friendships along the way.
  13. Excellence Does Not Happen By Accident.  It Takes Planning And Effort. – In an interview with, director Marc Webb said regarding the massive Times Square scene, ““We shot for only one or two nights in the actual Times Square, and then we built and entire version of Times Square out in Long Island. Simply because the logistical obligations of that scene were so complex that we had to… and we could, amazingly. I remember that scene came up in the script and we worked on it a little bit, and I was denying myself the pain and fear of thinking about how I was going to [do it]. Like, ‘Oh, that’s so cool.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know how…I’m going to do this.’ And then I was like, ‘Well, we’ll just build part of Times Square.’ They’re like, ‘Okay.’ I kept on waiting for someone to be like, ‘Are you insane?’ But they were just like, ‘Oh, okay, yeah. We’ll just do this here…’ But it ended up being a logistically very difficult thing, just in terms of bringing the amount of lights that were required and the amount of cement that was required. Marc Friedberg, our production designer, did a really extraordinary thing, and there’s a huge spectacle, of course.”
  14. Many Leaders Suffer In Silence – Because people always want something from leaders, they often have few people they can trust and be transparent with.  They are forced to struggle with life’s issues alone and in secret.  Aunt May told Parker, “Maybe everyone has a part of themselves they hide, even from the people they love.”
  15. Many Leaders Trust Few People – Similar to point #14 regarding trust, Osborn says, “Everybody wants my money.”
  16. The Power Of A Father Who Is Intentional – Because of an email his father sent him years before, Parker’s father prepared his son for a future he could not see.  Whether you realize it or not, all fathers are preparing their children for a time we have yet to see.
  17. Leaders Face And Then Embrace Challenges – Aunt May says, “The heavier the box the lighter I feel.”
  18. Leaders Are Dealers Of Hope – At the movie’s conclusion, Parker revisits Stacy’s graduation speech where she says, “On days you feel alone, that’s when hope is needed most.”
  19. Leaders Must Be The Picture Of The Desired Destination At Which Others Should Wish To Arrive – Stacy continues, “My wish for you is to become hope.”
  20. Leaders Build A Sustainable Future – Marvel is just the best at making you leave wanting more.  Pastors and church leaders should learn from this.  The movie features villains Electro, Green Goblin and Rhino.  They also provide a glimpse of Doc Oc and the Vulture.  I have read that similar to The Avengers, the Spider-Man franchise is building towards a Sinister Six movie several years from now.  What is your church or organization working towards that is BIG?

Once again, The Amazing Spider Man 2 is a fun movie you will enjoy.  Let me know what additional leadership thoughts you have after seeing the film.

By popular demand the following is Stacy’s full speech:

“I know that we all think we’re immortal, we’re supposed to feel that way, we’re graduating. The future is and should be bright, but, like our brief four years in high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it ends. I know that now more than ever. And I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if you fall short, what better way is there to live?”


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