How Romantic Comedies Can Help Improve Your Leadership Skills

Romantic Comedy Leadership

What can romantic comedies teach you about leadership? For one, emotion plays a role in both.

The title of this might sound silly to you, but take a moment to think about it. There is a time-tested formula for the making of a romantic comedy—and it works every time. Whatever each particular story arc happens to be about, rom-coms work because they drag people in, on an emotional level, and force them to care.

As a business leader, your job is so much easier when you get your clients, your customers, your employees, etc. to truly care about what you have to say. Once you have people invested at an emotional level, they will actively want to follow you, to help you, to listen to you.

So what’s the secret of the romantic comedy, and how can it be applied to your business world? Well, let’s break out down step by step. 

Setting the Stage: The Characters, the Chemistry

Every romantic comedy is about the characters—we already know that by the end of the film they will have fallen in love, but in the beginning we have to know why. That’s why the start of having rom-com is about giving us insight into the lives and personalities of these individuals; most importantly, it’s about showing us, the viewers, what it is about them—their interests and quirks, both similar and divergent—that is going to make them so compatible, so destined to fall for each other.

So what does this have to do with your role as an executive? Well, if you want people to follow your, to give you their trust and loyalty, you have to be able to show them why they need to. You have to be able to convince them that whatever it is you can offer them—your leadership, your product, your services, etc.—is exactly the right thing for them. You might not be looking to fall in love, but nonetheless, you do want to convince those that you are in business with that what you have to offer them is going to be the right fit.

The First Meeting

In the world of romantic comedies, the first meeting between the two main characters always sets the tone for what their relationship is going to be throughout the rest of the film.

In business, too, the importance of first impressions cannot be expressed highly enough. Just like in the movies, your first meeting with a new client, a new customer or a new business partner can easily set the tone for what your relationship is going to be for the rest of the time that you are doing business together. Since presumably you would like for this relationship to be a positive one, you want to make sure your first meeting goes off as smoothly as possible.

The Conflict

Every good romantic comedy must, of course, have some kind of conflict, some issue that arises and complicates the burgeoning romance between the two characters.

Conflict, of course, is not something you want to intentionally introduce into your business world. What is so deeply comforting to viewers about the age-old rom-com story structure, however, is that we never for a moment believe that this complication, whatever it is or however serious it might seem, is going to be anything but a minor speed bump on the road to their inevitable love. The conflict is necessary, of course, to keep the movie interesting—but the viewer never feels any need to worry.

Inevitably, in the business world, you will face conflicts and encounter obstacles. In these moments, it is imperative that you project confidence in your ability to overcome these obstacles. You want those around you to be as confident as the rom-com viewer that there is no real threat to their happy ending—that, despite this speed bump, everything will work out just as it is supposed to.

The Turning Point

In every romantic comedy, the viewer knows that the characters are going to end up together long before the characters themselves have figured it out. Often they are resistant, for one reason or another, for about the first two-thirds of the film—at which point there is a turning point, some special event that thrusts them together for one reason or another and allows them to realise that they are beginning to fall in love with each other.

Naturally, in business, you are bound to face resistance at one time or another—it is impossible to please everybody all the time. If you truly believe that your idea is the best one, however—that your path is the one that should be followed—then keep pushing it. If you can demonstrate to others how deserving your ideas are of their support, they may come around to the idea.

The End, The Sacrifices

More often than not, the romantic comedies happy-every-after involves some sacrifices on the part of the main characters. Throughout the course of the film we have been shown the reasons why they are not compatible. In order to end up together, then, they each must give something up, or change in some way—which of course they are more than happy to do, because at this point they are totally in love and nothing could be more important than that.

In the same way, it is impossible to be successful in business without making a few sacrifices. Business and leadership are all about human connections, and human relationships rarely work if one side refuses to give anything up but instead continues to demand sacrifices from the other person.

You may find yourself forced to give up something you wanted in order to achieve an even more valuable end result—and that should never be considered anything less than a win!

Posted in leadership

Tagged , ,

Written by

  • Liam CLancy

    Really like your style Darren. Perhaps it’s true “Bald men do it better”. I tell students all the time, we have to love what we do, love our clients and show them the respect that demonstrates that level of emotional engagement. Obviously like any relationship there are boundaries but making people laugh is a great place to start building a working relationship.

    • Darren

      Haha Liam. You know what they say – God made a few perfect heads. The rest he put hair on!

      Yes love what you do. It makes it so much easier to work, get through the day and deal with all those poor people who hate what they do.

      Thanks for stopping by. Sorry about the delay in replaying – I didn’t receive a notification of your comment.

  • Marion Drazil

    Great Article Darren.

    I can relate to the fact that there are
    similarities with what you have written in your blog about the format for comedies and people in business, particularly those in small business. I deal with people in business every day and it appears the reluctance to see another person’s point of view is a major contributor as to why success is so elusive to many of them.

    It is when we stop thinking about ourselves and focus on how others feel and what they need, when sacrifices are made, acceptance that we are not perfect and
    don’t know everything and we start listening to others, that’s when success and ultimately happiness kicks in, be it in business or in life.

    Marion Drazil

    W.I.N. Mastermind Groups

0422 670 659

call now!

Speaking Tips

Get the Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers FREE

Get This!