This Sunday I re-watched one of my favorite action movies, Olympus Has Fallen. This was the first movie in a three movie Fallen Series. Each movie starred Gerard Butler as Mike Bannon, Secret Service Agent turned Treasury Agent.
Of the three movies, I tend to watch the first two the most but have enjoyed the action sequences in each. It seems each time I watch them I learn or notice something new.
This movie reminds me of this year. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. The year started with great promise and opportunity and then we encountered a global pandemic. But much like Mike Bannon, I believe that we have the tenacity and conviction to get through these trying times.
We sometimes need a little bit of fiction and action to help us see different perspectives. This movie provides a view of how goals can be achieved with the right resources, team and motivation. They were motivated and inspired to work towards achieving their dream. Are you!
Here are 5 lessons from Olympus Has Fallen:
1. Stay true to the mission no matter if it will cost you everything.
Mike Bannon was close to the President and the First Lady. He was a trusted advisor and protector who had the honor of being treated as a friend. But when the time came to make a choice between saving the First Lady and saving the President, he didn’t allow his personal feelings to distract from his mission. He saved the President knowing that it could cause the death of everyone else in the car.
2. Do your homework and practice your instrument.
The Korean forces were versed in the layout, contingency plans, and landmarks to strike down. The researched the disguises, weapons and vehicles they would need. Then they practiced and made adjustments to their strategy and practiced again. We know this because Kang told the President, “it takes 15 minutes for your armed forces to reach the White House, we took it done in 13.”
3. Don’t be afraid to stick to your principles no matter how painful it may be.
Madam Secretary of the Defense Ruth McMillan was the epitome of strength in action. She stuck to her convictions even after watching her co-workers be tortured and killed. She took a beating and still was able to let them know what she thought of them. Then she asked how she looked and if her hair was ok. She was determined to let it be known that she was a fighter. Secretary McMillan knew what she was facing but did not let that obstacles overwhelm her.
4. Embrace the position and authority you have even if it is an acting or temporary role.
Speaker Trumball had to make decisions quickly and decisively which included who to trust. Trumball didn’t say, “it’s not my job.” he didn’t dwell on what could go wrong. He approached the job his own way and without fear. Instead, he took his seat, listened to the facts, loosened his tie, ordered his coffee and got to work.
When the General overstepped his authority, Acting President Trumball had no issue telling the General know that he would get rid of him if he didn’t need him. He didn’t like Army General Klegg at times but he understood that he needed him. He became the leader the moment required.
5. Have something you can focus on during times of stressful situations.
I know Mike is the main hero but Secretary MacMillan was the she-ro. Even as she was being dragged down the hallway towards her death, battered and bleeding, she struggled and began reciting the pledge of allegiance. The pledge seemed to bring her peace of mind as she was forced away from her team.
As she walked down the hall towards the exit and possible death, she straightened her clothes and summoned the courage to remain focused on what was ahead. At the time, she had no way of knowing Mike would be there to stop Kang from shooting her in the back. This was a demonstration of strength and dignity in the harshest circumstance.
So there you have it, 5 takeaways from an action movie.
Til next time,
“We may all meet our maker today, but the one thing I don’t want on my tombstone is “she went down without a fight.” – Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan, Olympus Has Fallen, 2013