The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been inspiring kids (and adults) since the first comic book was published in 1984. With the release of the new movie this weekend, we're offering 3 leadership lessons from your beloved crime fighters.

Seriously.

1. Teamwork is key.  

The Ninja Turtles are known for their dominant personality traits, which led them to develop unique (and equally useful) skill sets. Their leader, aptly named after Leonardo Da Vinci, shoulders a great deal of responsibility for his brothers, but he also relies on them. Raphael is a natural fighter, Donatello is the "brains", while Michelangelo's playful attitude brings the brothers some much-needed fun. Only together can they succeed. The same goes for business: any CEO, no matter how strong, should also acknowledge that talent spans an entire company. Every employee wields their own weapon, be it Japanese katanas or an aptitude for coding. Value these skills, and remember to express your gratitude along the way.   

2. Start small, grow big.

In the movie's official trailer, we learn: "Heroes are not born. They're created." Indeed, research suggests that entrepreneurs are not inherent risk takers, but rather grow into risk-taking as they experience business ownership. Similarly, the Ninja Turtles come from humble beginnings: they live in the storm sewers of New York City and try to remain, "like shadows in the night, completely unseen." (Until, that is, Megan Fox shows up with an iPhone camera. Awkward!)

3. Accept inspiration from unlikely sources.

The Ninja Turtles were trained in the art of ninjutsu by a mutated rat sensei named Splinter, which informs their particular brand of crime-fighting. Chances are, you have few relationships with mutated rats. But you may find that your background in music or yoga deeply affects how you lead your company. Lean into those instincts, and channel lessons from the odder places. It might just give you the upper hand in an upcoming negotiation. When fighting your own alien invaders and evil overlords, you'll want to "attack"--so to speak--by putting your best foot forward. 

Unsure how to move forward? Trust the turtles (and your instincts), and always let your sensei be your guide. 

Published on: Aug 8, 2014