Movies That Inspire Workplace Resiliency

Resiliency is a term people often discuss in the workplace - "the ability to bounce back after difficulty". Building resiliency is a great tool to support individual mental health, and to overcome challenges that life throws our way.  We often speak about building resiliency in our educational sessions, and in one-on-one treatment sessions, but did you know that resiliency is also inspired by the movies we watch? Today's guest post is by Emmanuel Lopez, who has kindly offered to share his top 10 favourite movies to inspire workplace resiliency! These movies may be a great tool for individuals to watch or re-watch to get inspired, or even to review as a workplace team. Thank you Emmanuel! 

“Failure is not an option!” 
Apollo 13 (1995)


Before anyone in the workplace can build resilience, teamwork or mental health they must have a vision of what they want to achieve. As author Stephen Covey says in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you must “Begin with the end in mind”. That vision will help individuals in the workplace to visualize a target to focus on during difficult times and unexpected change or crisis.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." 
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Movies have the power of helping show a vision of what resilience can look like or how effective teamwork can be that could be applied to the workplace. These films could be from any genre such as action adventure, science fiction, family, biographical/historical dramas and even romantic comedies. Here is a list of my top 10 favourite films that feature a multitude of personal and professional development themes for the workplace.

Themes include:
• Vision/Goal Achieving
• Passion
• Perseverance
• Indestructible Optimism
• Resilience
• Teamwork/Team Spirit
• Leadership

A Knight’s Tale (2001) 
William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) has a vision to become a knight despite being born in a lower class in medieval times where legalities forbid this goal. His vision and passion inspires and cultivates a strong team allowing each of them to happily utilize their own strengths and skills to accomplish Thatcher’s goal.

Amazing Grace (2006) 
This biographical film is about William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) and his vision to abolish the British slave trade in the late 1700’s. His passionate goal fuels him to persevere through many difficult years and inspires his dedicated team to keep moving forward despite much political and public opposition.

Apollo 13 (1995) 
Based on a true story of how NASA maintained their vision to bring home three stranded astronauts in a damaged spacecraft. Astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) and Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) both demonstrate excellent leadership skills, resilience and perseverance in finding their creative solutions for success.

Big Miracle (2012) 
Based on the true story of the 1988 international effort to rescue three gray whales trapped by ice in Alaska. Greenpeace volunteer Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore) passionately holds fast to her vision of freeing the whales while dealing with the media and multiple parties pushing their own agendas for wanting to help.

Flight of the Phoenix (2004) 
This remake of the film with the same name demonstrates how a group vision motivates a diverse group of individuals to work together and rebuild their crashed plane in order to rescue themselves. Focusing on the positives over the negatives of their crisis situation fuels each of their resilience.

42 (2013) 
This biographical film is about Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) becoming the first black baseball player in a major league and of team executive Branch Rickey’s (Harrison Ford) vision to achieve this goal in the mid 1940’s. Robinson’s resilience also brings his teammates together as they all face intense prejudice.

Jerry Maguire (1996) 
This film is about how sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) rediscovers his passion and vision for the work he wants to do by writing a mission statement. That key action leads him to transforming his work, life and attitude to have more fulfilling, team oriented relationships both personal and professional.

Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) 
This historical drama takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and is about Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey (Russell Crowe) assigned to pursue an enemy ship. Aubrey maintains his perseverance and resilience while showing outstanding leadership and strategic thinking that fosters loyalty and great teamwork from his crew.

Remember The Titans (2000) 
Based on a true story of African American coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) and his goal to merge a racially diverse football team at a high school in 1971. Boone’s strong will, vision and leadership qualities help each team member work hard to accomplish this challenging, overwhelming task.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 
This film is about wrongfully imprisoned Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who holds a vision of being free someday. Through strategic thinking and long term planning he cultivates social support and team spirit in projects he creates during decades in prison. Together they foster each other’s resilience and personal growth.

Movies like these can help excite and expand your mind to the possibilities of personal and group resilience in the workplace. Watch the film titles that resonate with you right now. Movies can bring out your inner strengths, improve your mental health and provide an entertaining break from your challenges. You’ll return to the workplace more energized, resilient and productive than ever!

"I'm a winner. I'm going to win." 
 Remember The Titans (2000)

This post has been generously shared by Emmanuel Lopez, aka Motivatorman. Emmanuel is a Movies for Motivation Speaker and an award-winning movie blogger working with organizations to increase resilience, team spirit and indestructible optimism through the power of movie examples and easy-to-use tools and methods. Clients include TD Canada Trust, Investors Group, Royal Ontario Museum, Lululemon Athletica and the Art Institute of Boston. Emmanuel inspires audiences with his lived experience of successfully managing clinical depression, burnout and unexpected crisis. Emmanuel has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail and on CBC Radio. His new eBook, “Top Inspiring Women in the Movies” is available exclusively on www.motivatorman.com  

Learn more about Emmanuel's Movies for Motivation Speaker services on Resilience, Team Spirit & Indestructible Optimism see: www.motivatorman.com

Would you like to learn more about movies that inspire mental health? What movies would you add to this list?