Harry Potter. You can be a muggle who has never seen the films or read the books but still know the character reference and the pop culture impact of the reportedly $25 billion dollar franchise. When J.K Rowling penned "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in 1995, she had no idea the successful business woman she would become or the generational impact the series would have.

As fans gather in theaters this week for the latest of the Potter Franchise Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we take the time to look back at the series and the lessons on leadership, teamwork, and personal accountability.

1. "The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be treated with great caution."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

As leaders, it's important that we understand the value of transparency and honest feedback. Cultivating an environment where employees feel their voice is heard and where progress can be reported openly is critical to success. While the truth may not be easy, it is in treating it with caution and respect that allows employees to hold themselves accountable for results―and ultimately organizational success.

2. "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Like Dumbledore, you may recognize the importance of choices and accountability in generalbut incorporating the right ones into your day-to-day actions is another thing. We argue that The Oz Principle's definition of accountability empowers you to take those right steps. We define it as, "a personal choice to rise above one's circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results."

3. "What you fear most of all is fear. Very wise."

― Lupin, The Prisoner of Azkaban

Leaders, no matter their years of experience, face daily fears while running a business. Those who succeed in overcoming their fears recognize them as just thatfears. While leaders may not have a spell as Harry does with his Boggart, they can manage their fears by learning how to intentionally shape their workplace culture to achieve results.

4. "Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

No matter who your employees are beyond the workplace door, when leaders cultivate a culture with a common language, set measurable goals, and empower their employees to invest in them, no result is unattainable.

5. "We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Getting everyone on board and securing employee buy in for an organization's direction, goals, and results is no easy feat, but critical for strong leadership. Groundbreaking results happen when every individual in an organization is aligned around a purpose and clear on what the priorities and outcomes are. 

6. "What's comin' will come, an' we'll meet it when it does."

― Hagrid, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

Outside influences and market disturbances are a constant uphill battle for leaders. Companies winning today know that the secret to success lies in purposefully shaping workplace culture to respond quickly to change, remain agile, and find innovative solutions to problems. 

7. "Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

No truer words have been said. There might be days when you want to throw in the towel and give up. But giving up doesn't make us feel better. It makes us feel stuck. Try this instead: take ownership of results, even if that requires you to accept your failures. This simple mind shift allows you to rise above circumstances and puts you on the path towards achieving desired results.

8. "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix      

When individuals in organizations disengage and stop communicating with those around them, the damage is two-fold. Not only are results not realized, but individuals slip from apathetic to resentful. And this toxic culture has a negative impact on the rest of the team. Leaders can prevent this by continuing to have open lines of communication and empower their team to provide feedback. 

9. "You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve."

― Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Leaders sometimes find themselves in tricky situations where they have to take calculated risks―which could lead to failure. The problem with losing your nerve and becoming risk-aversive is leaders endanger their professional aspirations and the organization at large. Without risk, individuals and organizations alike lose opportunities to innovate and find creative solutions when challenges arise. A little nerve can go a long way to making impactful things happen.

10. "Those who, like you [Harry], have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well."

― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It is through experience, practice, and consistent learning that we develop a strong leadership style and effectively become great leaders. Continue honing your leadership skills by looking outside the box, viewing the world in a new light, and absorbing wisdom from those around you―even from mentors that exist only in books.

Apply these leadership lessons today and see what magic might happen.

Published on: Nov 14, 2018
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