“The greatest thing Harry Potter has given the world, is the freedom to use our imagination” – Oprah Winfrey.
The Harry Potter books penned by the prolific wordsmith J.K. Rowling are one of the most imaginative, magical and captivating stories ever written.
Hidden in this beautiful series of books are messages of love, friendship, family, courage and many more inspiring life lessons. The books and movies have touched millions of people all over the world. The strong characters have inspired many to take up debates and issues which the book addresses – from libertarianism to feminism to civil rights to raising their voices against power struggles, bigotry, and violence.
J.W. Eagan sensibly said, ‘Never judge a book by its movie.” However, the Harry Potter series is a rare instance of the films complementing the books exceedingly well. Yes, they do not cover all the details, but they do justice to most of the books in the 2-3 hours that is the length of a feature film. The level of detail from art design, to sets, to special effects, to the conviction of the characters portrayed bring alive the enchanting world of Harry Potter. I suspect the close association of the author with the films might have something to do with this.
J.K. Rowling’s sparkling wit, humor and exceptional ability to deliver simple insights with great impact are seen in these several quotes that went on to become extremely popular with fans. Notable among these are those belonging to Albus Dumbledore, who in many ways was her voice in the books.
Here is a pick of some of the best quotes about life lessons relating to different topics:
On coping with loss:
Dumbledore reminds Harry to live in the present moment and not dream of a past gone or a future that could have been.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Courage comes in various forms, it’s not just about fighting your enemies like Harry, Ron and Hermione demonstrate, but also about confronting your friends like Neville shows us.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Dumbledore points out to Harry the wisdom of accepting our mortality and not fearing the end but looking upon it as an opportunity for a new beginning.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You are a consequence of your choices in life. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented you are, it’s what you do that makes a difference in the world. We are who we choose to become.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ― Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Happiness is an inside job. It is a conscious choice and lasting happiness emanates from within and is not affected by external circumstances. We all have it within us to find that hope in the midst of despair.
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Treating everyone with kindness is important, as Sirius Black points out.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On making the right decisions:
- When we are faced with problems, it’s only too easy to take the easy way out but this may not always be the right choice.
“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On being sensitive:
Empathize with others and put yourself in their shoes to appreciate their point of view.
“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On accepting and understanding ourselves:
We have all experience positive and negative thoughts, emotions, and sensations. But we have a choice not to be swayed by them, through making independent decisions on how to act appropriately.
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On being human and recognizing the power of pain:
If we didn’t have problems, we wouldn’t appreciate the good things in life. Pain, loss, and failure is inevitable in life and brings perspective, clarity and is a catalyst for positive change, should you allow it to be.
“Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human … the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength. ” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Everything will work out eventually and for the best, even if it’s not in the way we expected it.
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On the fear of death:
It is the lack of knowledge and experience that makes us fear death and darkness, just like a child may fear the shadows but as she grows and understands more, she becomes fearless.
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. ” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
On reality and the mind:
Reality is but an illusion. Everything we experience in the world is a reflection of our mind. So our perception is colored by our internal makeup which is why different people see the same things, differently. This is J.K. Rowling’s favorite quote from the series.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
On using words wisely:
Words can hurt or heal so choose yours carefully. Think before you speak.
“Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable both of inflicting injury and remedying it.” ―
True love is unconditional and eternal.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.” ―
The End of an Epic!
This quote is not from the series and was spoken by JK Rowling at the premiere of the last film. It was the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to Potter fans who mourned the end of their childhood with the end of the series; as many of us grew up with this books and movies. However, they will stay with us forever.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” ― J.K. Rowling
So, what is your favorite Harry Potter quote?
Featured photo credit: The Trio in The Burrow via vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net
Last Updated on December 9, 2019
What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities
The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge. High-ranking people – your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…
But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.
Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.
So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?
Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace.
The following is a list of characteristics of a leader who successfully leads a great team:
1. Stay Positive, Even in the Worst Situations
Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and, by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.
Even some simple things like providing cupcakes or beers on Fridays can make the world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.
Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.
Walt Disney (1901-1966), had his share of hardships and challenges; and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.
What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?
Break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.
Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down — Because sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
2. Exhibit Confidence Everywhere
All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.
Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high and the problem will be solved more quickly.
If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go down hill from there.
Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.
What Can You Learn from Elon Musk?
You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:
- List 10 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll be more confident about yourself.
- Work on your strengths, do your best to enhance them.
3. Have a Sense of Humor
It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.
Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off, because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.
Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the work place.
As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”, his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns. Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!
What Can You Learn from Barak Obama?
Laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.
Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspirations from the internet.
4. Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.
Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks.
Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.
Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.
What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?
Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.
To do this, use the 5 Whys problem solving framework.
By asking “why” for 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.
You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.
5. Listen, and Give Feedback
This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.
The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.
The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.
What Can You Learn from Dalai Lama?
Encourage communication between team members and establishing an open door policy.
Practice not to interrupt team members when they’re talking.
Summarize what they say and ask for feedback every time after you have talked about your ideas.
6. Know How and When to Delegate
No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.
Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.
Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.
What Can You Learn from Steve Jobs?
To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:
- List out all of their strengths, weaknesses and personalities.
- Talk with your team members more too to know more about their passion and interests.
Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)
7. Inspire and Grow People Around
Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.
Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.
Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention, because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.
What Can You Learn from Pope Francis?
Spend time to talk with other team members individually to understand them.
Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.
8. Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others
Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?
The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.
Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind. This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.
What Can You Learn from Howard Gillman?
Ask yourself what you could have done better to prevent this from happening.
Take the responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.
9. Make Decisions Based on Lessons Learned in the Past
It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.
Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.
You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories, or search from your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).
Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.
What Can You Learn from Warren Buffett?
Write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made.
Have all the lessons well organized and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.
10. Lead by Example and Commit to Do the Best
Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.
Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.
After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country. In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.
What Can You Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi?
Some people learn by observing the way you perform a task, some need more detailed guidelines.
So dedicate time to demonstrate your work to team members, let them observe how you do it. Summarize the skills you use and let team members know how you make difficult things work.
The Bottom Line
Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader too.
Make small changes your habits when you work with your team – wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs.
But we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.
More About Leadership
- Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?
- Why Leadership and Management Are Two Sides of a Coin
- 15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success
- Master These 10 Management Skills to Become a Strong Leader
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
|||^||NPR: President Obama’s 2016 Turkey-Pardon Dad Jokes: The Definitive List|
|||^||Funny or Die: President Barack Obama: Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis|
|||^||The New York Times: A College Admits a Big Mistake. Imagine That|
|||^||Business Insider: Warren Buffett Admits To 5 Big Mistakes|
|||^||BBC News: Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi|