Business Lessons According To Movies

I have a degree in business; does that make me an expert? I very much doubt that… because life itself is a never ending learning experience. However it does mean that I know to a certain degree, that business is not just about making money like most people would quickly assume. Sadly, some business people think that being in the business world is indeed about the money and that anything otherwise would be labeled as a sign of weakness. They truly believe that you have to be a jerk to become successful.

Business is not just about accounting, marketing or finance. It’s also about organizational behavior, how employers treat their workers, a clear mission statement and a detailed strategy to reach their quarterly and yearly objectives. Although I think the original British version is more hilarious, one of today’s most popular TV series is The Office. Let’s take a look back at some of the movies that have portrayed business and what we can learn from their depictions.

* WAITING (2005)
My friend has worked in restaurants for a number of years and unfortunately, she said that some of the things shown in this particular movie actually do happen in real life. If there’s a list of what-not-to-do in a place of business, this movie sure hit all of them and then some. Terrible customer service, bad management, and unprofessional employee ‘relations’ are just some of the problems. It tackles the issue of professional advancement and the obstacles met when trying to achieve it. My other friend is thinking of starting a restaurant and I told him that if his restaurant turns out to be like the one in this movie, then he can count me out!

A funny take on the classic case of employees who hate their jobs and supervisors and how they go about getting revenge and payback. You’re only as good as the people you work with, and that includes the people that you have to answer to. I’ve seen people who are not happy with their work place, yet they’re still there day after day.

When you stay in one place for too long, you become that place. What good can come out of feeling miserable every morning about what you have to do for the rest of the day?! If you’re a manager and in charge of a number of employees who look up to you; don’t be the boss from hell. Once you start to lose their respect, you never know who might be plotting to burn down the building.

* NETWORK (1976)
There’s no business… like show business. I think those were my first words when I was a baby. I kid… but the fact remains that whether we realize it or not, entertainment is all around us. It affects everything we say, we do and we come in contact with. We as humans get bored easily and entertainment is the perfect escape – a sweet release; a getaway. At the same time we are creatures of habit who will always find ourselves returning to the very same thing that entertains us to the bone.

This movie is a perfect example of how one network would do whatever it takes to get more ratings in the name of entertainment. This network took it to the point where it would lose its own soul and take advantage of another.

* BOILER ROOM (2000)
The main character in this movie wants to impress his dad who’s been harsh on him since he was a child so he takes on a job at a brokerage company. Lured with phenomenal pay and a fast track to success he soon masters the art of sales. Soon he notices unethical business practices and other shady tactics and finds the job is not as legitimate as he had once thought. Why do we go into business? For what purpose? If a person is doing it for all the wrong reasons then he’ll find himself in all the wrong situations.

One of my friends once tried to convince me to join his business by showing me his sports cars and everything else he was able to do. After researching his business I found it not to be as solid as it sounded. It’s good to take chances but not wise to take miscalculated risks. Be careful… know what you are doing it all for.

* WALL STREET (1987)
“Greed is Good” Gekko said, and trading on illegal inside information is even better in his opinion. Ethics, ethics, ethics! I say it three times just in case those who want to jump into the business world don’t catch it the first time around.

1.) The temptation of going to the top 2.) The frustration of not being able to get there after so many years of hard work 3.) The desire to do whatever it takes and never think of the consequences. These attitudes are what give a bad name to the rest of us who are trying to do healthy, positive business. Playing by the rules may not make you the most popular kid in the room but it will definitely keep you from getting thrown into jail for five months. You know who I’m talking about.

All work and no play makes the Young & Successful feel unbalanced! To rescue our overworked souls, YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon discusses the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. WordPress WordPress CMS