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Ten Lesson entrepreneurs can find in not business-related movies

  1. Zelig (1982) Director: Woody Allen.

Adapt yourself, adapt yourself, adapt yourself. Leonard Zelig, the "human chameleon" had the ability to transform his physical appearance (including the language in which he expressed himself) depending on the environment in which he was. Insecurity and neurosis are present like in any other Woody Allen’s movie, but, what is fundamental here is (as Darwin said): “It is not the strongest of the species that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

  1. Pretty Woman (1990) Director: Garry Marshall.

There are opportunities that arise only once in a lifetime and you have to know how to recognize them (and how to hold on to them). This was valid for both leading characters. To the calculating investor interpreted by Richard Gere and also, for the adorable Julia Roberts. After a totally fortuitous encounter, both could recognize in the other, the one would change their life, forever.

  1. The Lion King (1994) Directors: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.

Leadership is something that must be earned, not inherited. After the death of his father, Simba moves away from his herd and stays with his two future "mentors" Pumbaa and Timon. With them, the young lion developed the necessary skills to become a true leader. Only once he has been able to acquire these capacities, he returned home to reclaim the throne, which by right, corresponded to him.

  1. The Godfather (1972) Director: Francis Ford Coppola.

If you really want something, you should make an offer that no one can refuse. Any business is always about establishing a community of interests between different parties. You can’t pretend to win without delivering something of value in return. The Godfather then, laid the foundations of what we know today as Collaborative Economy. I give you, you give me and between us, we create something of superior value. Now, if the other party chooses to refuse your offer, it is not a question of leaving a bloody horse’s head on his bed, either...

  1. Reservoir Dogs (1999) Director: Quentin Tarantino.

A successful organization is always more than the sum of its parts. Although each of the Mr. exhibited great individual competencies and a clear understanding of the purpose of the task (a big robbery), the lack of trust among the members, deficiencies in their communication and an ineffective leadership of the whole enterprise resulted in the absolute failure of the whole operation. In short, it is not enough to have the best people, if you do not know how to transform them into a great team.

  1. Rocky (1976) Director: John G. Avildsen.

Success is not always synonymous of victory. Many times we won without necessarily having defeated our opponents. To win is sometimes to overcome our own limits, to improve, to grow, to reach as far as we could not before. Overcome expectations that others and even you, have on yourself. Rocky Balboa objectively did not beat Apollo in his fight at the end of the first film of the saga. But could anyone argue that he was not effectively successful?

  1. Fitzcarraldo (1982) Director: Werner Herzog.

Only dreamers move mountains. The epic: Cruising a ship by the Amazon jungle. Perseverance, stubbornness, madness? All of them, it is true, were present in the mind of the leading character. But the bottom line is also the unremitting pursuit of a dream, beyond any rational analysis, Excel sheets or the opinion of experts.

  1. Cast Away (2000) Director: Robert Zemeckis.

Maintain optimism even in the most adverse situations. Tom Hanks survives five years on a deserted island, basically making friends with a volleyball and learning how to dominate his surroundings. Beyond some moments of despair (perfectly justifiable in such situation) Hanks's character remains always lucid to his final goal: to leave the island. And at all times he retains an indispensable positive attitude to be able to achieve it.

  1. Jerry Maguire (1996) Director: Cameron Crowe.

You must always concentrate on the client. It is obvious, but many times we lose focus on what should be our first priority. Any organization, whatever its size or activity, belong to a market, in order to satisfy the requirements of a customer. And doing that, we must create and capture value, seeking also, to achieve our own interest, which, like Tom Cruise’s character, it is often more, than just making money in the process.

  1. Before the Devil knows you are dead (2007) Director: Sidney Lumet.

You can always be worse. It is true that being an entrepreneur often means overcoming failure, repeatedly. But it is also true that 90% of the startups do not survive the 5th year. You should be aware of that. It is one thing to be resilient and another, quite different, is to insist blindly. You should always be able to recognize when to withdraw.

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