“I wouldn’t change a thing because all my past experiences, good and bad, made me who I am today.”  When I hear this statement I must admit, I completely disagree.  I would love to have several do-overs in my life.  Some mistakes did not need to be made and I still suffer the consequences of them.

Edge Of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, gives us a different perspective.  Here is a brief overview – In an effort to win a war against alien invaders called Mimics, Major William Cage, played by Cruise, must continually relive a single day, learning more each time.

Done with a fast pace, humor and lots of creativity, I highly recommend this movie.  The following are 20 Leadership Lessons And Quotes From Edge Of Tomorrow:

  1. Great Leaders Are Continual Learners – Every leader can get better.  With the help of Rita Vrataski, played by Blunt, Cage uses each new day as an opportunity to improve his wisdom and skills creating improved outcomes.
  2. Smart Leaders Learn Through Repetition – Repetition can either create bad habits or propel leaders to a higher level.  Great leaders do not waste experience.
  3. Some Visionary Leaders Become Martyrs – Cage’s ability to know the future initially brings him ridicule.  Being one step ahead of the people makes you a leader.  Being 10 steps ahead of the people makes you a martyr.
  4. Leaders Know Their Role – Cage says, “We fight.  That’s what we do.”
  5. Leaders Accept Responsibility – Cage tells General Brigham, played by Brendan Gleeson, “When the smoke clears and the body bags start coming home, they look to blame someone.”
  6. Properly Positioning Team Members To Play To Their Strengths Improves The Team – No one plays an over-the-top character better than Bill Paxton.  Casting him to play to play Master Sergeant Farell was a brilliant move and helped make this a better movie.  How you leverage talented team members largely determine the strength of your church or organization.  The following are four of his quotes from the film”
  7. “Battle is the great redeemer.  It is the fiery crucible in which the only true heroes are forged.” – Master Sergeant Farell
  8. “There is no courage without fear.” – Master Sergeant Farell
  9. “The Lord only expects one thing, that we will win.” – Master Sergeant Farell
  10. “Battle is the one place where all men share the same rank.” – Master Sergeant Farell
  11. Leaders Need Proper Tools For Success – When initially fitted with his army uniform called an ExoSuit, Cage did not even know how to walk or work his weapon.
  12. Even The Greatest Leaders Can Still Improve With Proper Training – Leaders never fully arrive.  The world is always changing and new skills are always required for success.  Nicknamed the “Angel of Verdun”, we first meet Vrataski, she was still training and improving her formidable skills.
  13. “An enemy who knows the future can’t lose.” – Sadly not true.  As Christians, we face an enemy who knows his future is hopeless and will end in the Lake of Fire.
  14. Leaders Increase Influence By Serving Their Teammates – Midway through the movie, Cage gains instant credibility with his fellow troops by protecting them from a prohibited card game.
  15. Leaders Can Lose Vision – Vrataski tells Cage, “Vision.  I saw (the future) but lost the power before I could get to it.”  This is a warning to all pastors and Christian leaders.  There is a difference between seeing vision and seizing it.  If you are not continually advancing toward vision fulfillment, it will be lost.
  16. We Follow Leaders Who Are Marked By Accomplishment – Leaders should continually be getting small wins under their belt.  Accomplishment bring credibility.  When Gage was recruiting fellow soldiers to help him conquer the Mimics, he was gaining little traction until the “Angel of Verdun” joined his side.
  17. Great Leaders Serve Others Before Themselves – Understanding some soldiers would lose their life in the climatic battle, Gage said, “Take a hit for the team.”
  18. Confidence Is Found In Our Memory – Gage tells Vrataski, “We’ve been through worse.”  There are some leaders reading this post who need to remember they’ve been through worse.  Proceed with confidence.  You are about to prevail.
  19. So Goes The Leader So Goes The Organization – ***SPOILER ALERT***  When the head of the Mimics dies, so does the entire species.  When a leader becomes ineffective, often the entire organization does as well.
  20. Built-In Repetition Can Become TediousEdge Of Tomorrow was a fun movie but done incorrectly, repetition in our church services, staff meetings, planning, etc… can become painfully tedious and cause momentum to be lost.  Worse yet, a lack of creativity in messaging creates apathy within our churches.  As a church attender, I want to be filled with a sense of awe not knowing what God will do next.

Let me know what you think of the movie after watching it.  For more Tom Cruise leadership reviews check out Mission Impossible: Ghost ProtocolJack Reacher and What Tom Cruise Can Teach Pastors About The Value Of Key Volunteers.

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