“Whatever it is that you do, you are influencing people.”
Lessons From the Movie “Hero”, Jet Li (2002)

The Movie Hero (2002) starring Jet Li is a classic. Most people who’ve watched it will probably remember the vivid colors in each of the movie’s distinct scenes. Of course, the fight scenes are memorable with its choreography and artistry. The music and cinematography complete this masterpiece of a movie.

After watching it many times as a visual, auditory and heart spectacle, I began to see more clearly the deeper nuances behind the story. You’ve got to watch it to appreciate it fully. A search on YouTube for “Hero Jet Li full movie English” will give you a good copy to watch.

Here are the leadership lessons I learned from the movie “Hero”.

  • The first swordsman can strike the target from 10 feet away. He leads by doing things effectively. He is skilled. He holds the sword with his hand.
  • The second swordsman can strike the target from 100 feet away. He has vision. He leads by influencing people to work towards his vision. He holds the sword with his heart.
  • The second swordsman can strike the target from 100 feet away. He has vision. He leads by influencing people to work towards his vision. He holds the sword with his heart.
  • The third swordsman can strike the target from 1,000 feet away. He leads by being. He is self-aware. He leads his own self; and by leading himself, he influences people to likewise become self-empowered leaders. He does not hold any sword at all. His sword is his being.
  • The third swordsman can strike the target from 1,000 feet away. He leads by being. He is self-aware. He leads his own self; and by leading himself, he influences people to likewise become self-empowered leaders. He does not hold any sword at all. His sword is his being.

I have a term that this third kind of leadership as “Passive Influence” – Leadership by Being.

Whatever it is that you do, you are influencing people.

As a young bachelor, you influence your friends, your peers.
As a blogger, as an instagram boyfriend, as a YouTuber or any other social media, you influence your followers.
As a man committed to your partner, you influence that person.
As a father, you influence your kids.
As a son or brother, you influence your parents, your siblings.
As an employee, you influence your colleagues, your boss.
As a boss, you influence your direct reports.
As a business leader or owner, you influence your company, your shareholders, your customers.

Given your influence over other people, you’ve got to think about the kind of influence you give.

Do you influence people by telling them what to do? (first swordsman).
Do you influence people by showing them the context, the importance, the value of the task at hand? (second swordsman)
Or do you influence people by your BEing. Are people moved by the way you live your life?

As you look back in your life, when you think about the people who have influenced you the most, you start to think what kind of influence or impact they had on you.
Is it what they said, the words they spoke?
Is it the vision they painted for you, the hope, the aspirations for your, their belief in you?
Or is it the way they lived?

What is it that you learned from the people who influenced you? What can you learn from them? What can you apply into your own leadership toolbox?

Hone your leadership, hone your influence.

Regardless of what you do, you’re going to influence people anyway. Even if you don’t intend to.
Make it count, make it matter.

Edwin

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This article first appeared on  The Goodmen Project.
Image courtesy of IMDb

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