Movies that all entrepreneurs need to watch - and watch them right now

Posted 2016-12-23 318 0

1. 12 Angry Men


Entrepreneurs know how hard it is to sell and build leadership. Yet, that movie can teach you these exact skills. Watching it actually is part of INSEAD’s MBA.

More precisely, it will teach you:

  1. How to find the right message for a given audience, efficiently convey it, and ultimately generate buy-ins.
  2. How to reach consensus among teams.
  3. Why leadership and ethics are very correlated.

Here’s the pitch (spoiler-free): 12 men from very different backgrounds are summoned for jury duty in a murder case. They have to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. If he is, he will get death penalty.

The movie itself is a huis-clos that opens to an informal vote made by the juries. 11 men say the defendant is guilty, while just one - Henry Fonda - says there might be a reasonnable doubt.

The rest is all about Henry Fonda trying to convince the other juries to reconsider their opinion. To do so, he uses all the techniques entrepreneurs and leaders need in their daily lives. From finding relevant allies, to fitting your approach to your audience, and understanding hidden signals.

Also, not only it’s very business-relevant, but it’s also a thrill to watch as both the direction and the actors are splendid. You’d be surprised to see how 1957’s emotions, reactions, and argumentation haven’ change much vs. today.

#2. The Godfather


One of the greatest films in the world based on the best book I’ve ever read. The Godfather is the story about the growth of a small family business as it becomes the largest organized crime family in New York, fighting off opposition at any expense. The Godfather and his son Michael Corleone are the brains behind the family and this film gives you an insight into what it takes to become one of the most powerful family businesses in the country.

#3. Glengarry Glen Ross


Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day’s Work.

In the fast paced world of Chicago real estate, competition and incentive is what decides who’s the best. That’s why they’re having a little sales competition – First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you’re fired. With stakes that high, and the pressure on, the salesmen show that they’re willing to do anything it takes to succeed in business, but the most interesting part of this is film, is what exactly that is.

#4. Wall Street

Wall Street 2 Movie.jpg

Every dream has its price.

In the life of an ambitious young stockbroker, Bud Fox will do just about anything it takes to succeed, and for him, that includes a little bit of insider trading. See what happens when the desire to succeed takes over your life and the motto of ‘Greed is good’ directs how you do business. But what happens when you’re pushed to your limits and asked to do something you can’t or won’t do? Suddenly everything comes to a head when Fox is asked to help do something, not only illegal, but morally reprehensible.

#5. The Game


There are no rules in The Game.

What do you get the guy who has everything? Nicholas Van Orton (played by Michael Douglas) is a wealthy San Francisco banker who’s life is wrapped up in his business, which has left him as somewhat of a loner. His brother Conrad gives him the gift of a lifetime, which would prove to change his perspective on the world and the way that he’s going to live it. When bad things start to happen to you, you start to question what’s really important in live, business, success and money, or actually living?

#6. Boiler Room


Motion creates Emotion!

After entering the stockbroking profession to impress his father, Seth Davis, a Queens College dropout, soon realizes the huge earning potential ahead of him. But with commissions much larger than any other company, Seth soon learns that not everything is what it’s cracked up to be and he’s forced to face the dilemma of money and greed vs. morals and legality. For any young entrepreneur starting out in business, it’s a very real possibility that you’re going to face moral dilemmas and the way that they’re dealt with in this film is very eye opening.

#7. Jerry Maguire


The rest of his life begins now.

This is a story about a man who’s at the top of his game; beautiful partner, the biggest clients, lots of respect. But then he decides to step back and question it all and proposes his new thoughts to the rest of the company, which ultimately ends in him losing it all. Everyone turns his back on him, except for one, very volatile client, Rod Tidwell. From here you see Jerry examine what it really important to his business and life and works towards bringing it all back together again, only this time, the way it should be.

#8. Pursuit of Happyness


Based on a true story.

This is a real life story of a man who believes so badly in a product that he can’t sell that he ends up losing his house, his wife and his money, being left with just himself and his son. This in itself is an important lesson to be learnt, but it’s the steps that he takes from here that really shape him into who he becomes. Against all odds, he takes an unpaid internship to become a stockbroker, fighting against his peers for a single job at the end of it. This is a powerful true story that sticks with you as you face your own personal struggles in business.