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6 Business-Themed Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

6 Business-Themed Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

Smart business owners know that leadership is an acquired skill, but how does Hollywood view these concepts? Business schools now use media to instruct potential business owners in the ways of operating through examples, some as cautionary tales of what not to do. Some of these movies are essential viewing for the manager looking to learn some lessons in leadership.

1. 9 to 5

Although a bit dated, this whimsical tale of three women in an office environment lays out a story of what the male-dominated business world was like for women in times past. The chauvinistic boss who promotes male underlings over their female counterparts, who makes inappropriate comments to his secretary, and who is the height of incompetence is nothing to aspire to. But when he is temporarily out of the way, the women, who had never before been allowed to test their ideas, make several changes that improve productivity. Lesson: Be the ethical manager who makes good use of employees and acknowledges their contributions.

2. Steve Jobs

This film follows the life of one of the most famous entrepreneurs of our time, Apple founder Steve Jobs. Jobs’ controversial leadership style and his long list of personal issues are the subject of the film. Apple is one of the most powerful technologies in the world, but many argue that Jobs, as a manager, sacrificed a bit of humanity to get there. Lesson: Emulating Jobs’ style is not recommended, but perseverance and dreaming big certainly are.

3. Empire Records

Many small businesses face overwhelming competition from big competitors. However, if you are willing to face the odds, even in the face of defeat, sometimes your team will surprise you. Lesson: Teamwork and innovation can solve many problems.

4. Baby Boom

Another 1980s film shows what life was like for women in business in times past, as a dedicated businesswoman finds herself the unexpected guardian of an infant. As her male colleagues proudly brag that their wives handle home life, giving them more flexibility with clients, and male coworkers take credit for her work, she eventually leaves and starts her own business. Lesson: Find the balance between workplace dynamics and professional success, or risk losing valuable employees.

5. The Social Network

The innovator who identifies a need not currently met has a true opportunity to create something big. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had such an idea, but as a young manager, he made many mistakes along the way. Lesson: Do not let personal issues interfere with your professional goals.

6. The Pursuit of Happyness

Single father Chris Gardner, experiencing homelessness with his young son, devotes himself to learning the stock trading business while trying to provide a stable life for his child. As Gardner tells his son, “Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me.” Lesson: Setting long-term goals and perseverance nearly always pays off.

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