movies that every business practitioner should watch

Inspirations can point us in new directions of personal or organisational development, and even give us the energy to pursue them. For years, cinema has been regarded as one of the most powerful media influencing people. An attractively told story enriched with images lined with moving sound - stimulates our imagination and arouses emotions, making us remember them as strongly as our own experiences. Film is associated with entertainment and time reserved rather for relaxation - but we can use this time usefully - getting to know the storylines on which we can base our professional activities.

This post is about a list of 10 inspiring titles with a brief rationale for the choice, key quotes and ratings for each work. So, let's start the screening together!


Why is this film worth seeing?

A documentary about the following changes in current mass culture. Don't be fooled if it's not your taste in music (hip-hop, pop, rock and more). Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have achieved success in the music industry as producers. They bought it with mistakes that they openly talk about. One of the highlights of their careers was their accurate assessment of the coming crisis in the music industry. They saw it as an opportunity. They teamed up to create and promote Beats headphones. They became billionaires when the company was bought by Apple.

Favourite quote:

“Records are like children. You never met a mother with an ugly baby, okay? I never had a flop. They just wasn’t as popular as the other ones.”

The creative process can blind us to an objective assessment of the product we deliver. Especially if we have a few successes behind us.

“There’s nothing more humbling than putting out a fucking flop.”

There is nothing more astringent than the release of a 'rot'.

"Every producer knows that you're only as good as the artist that you're working with, because that artist could either make or break you. No matter how great your track is, the artist that you're working with or the writer that you're working with has the ability to make it magic or fuck it up."

Translating this into business language - investors, mentors, consultants - try to do their best to help build the best business. The success of an artist or startup affects their image.

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 8.5 / 10

2. Money ball

Why is this film worth seeing?

This is a story about perseverance, numbers, consistency and a pinch of luck. About the kind of luck that occurs when you combine the right preparation with the opportunity that presents itself. Most may not be right, and yet we think that if they do then they must be right. That can be a recipe for failure. Billy Beane didn't have the money for top players like rival teams. He concentrated on what he has. He developed a way to nurture players. He changed the team's priorities by analyzing data and operating in an area where the competition was absent - high school players.

Favourite quote:

"Why do you like him?""Because he gets on base."

Are you looking for someone to sell services? Look at these candidates with high emotional intelligence - they are able to reach out and understand the client's problem and sell them a solution.

"You're not even looking at the problem".

Find the real problem of the industry. Then focus on finding a way to solve it. Don't be swayed by aspects going on around you, don't listen to experts or those who are emotionally involved - they are all behind the status quo and part of the problem.

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 7.5 / 10

3. Get Me Roger Stone

Why is this film worth seeing?

The documentary explores the biography of Roger Stone, an American conservative, consultant and lobbyist behind the campaigns of conservative politicians winning the US presidency: Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, but also described as the chief architect of Donald Trump's campaign, among others. It is a film that perfectly depicts the contemporary image of building a personal brand based on crowd psychology and meticulously planned marketing activities that help win presidential elections.

Favourite quote:

"You play by the rules as they're written. When they change the rules, you change the way you play the game."

You play by a set of rules. When the rules are changed - you change your way of playing.

"A man is not finished when he is defeated. He's only finished when he quits."

A defeated man is not a loser. He only becomes one when he gives up.

"Hate is a stronger motivator than love."

Hate is a stronger emotion than love.

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 7.3 / 10

4. Halt and catch fire

Why is this film worth seeing?

Early 1980s, an unruly trio (a visionary, an engineer and a talented programmer) risk everything to realise their vision of building a computer that can change the future. They take part in a race to capture the mass market for PCs against such giants as IBM (a flaw is discovered in its operation that opens the door to competition).

Favourite quote:

"Progress depends on our changing the world to fit us. Not the other way around."

Progress depends on us changing the world to suit us. Not the other way around.

"The hardest thing in life is to get knocked down and then get back up constantly. But we do it because we love it and we know deep down that if it’s the right idea, it could be bigger than all of us."

The hardest thing in life is failing and then picking ourselves up from it (over and over again). But we do it because we love it, and deep down we know that if what we're working on is the right idea, then it can be bigger than anything to date.

"Good is the enemy of great. If anything’s worth pursuing, we’ll remember it tomorrow."

Good is the enemy of great. In the future we will see what was worth the sacrifices.

"Rule number one, you don’t risk your own money. You’ve been brainwashed, gone native. Ain’t nothing worse than a businessman who’s lost his compass."

First rule - you don't invest your private money. You have lost your mind and distance. There is nothing worse than an entrepreneur who cannot manage in cold blood.

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 8.4/10

5. Ford Vs. ferrari

Why is this film worth seeing?

This is the story of the struggles of the Ford brand under its founder's successor, Son Henry. The sizeable company faced a crisis caused by limited demand. The solution is to differentiate the brand by taking the category and dominating it - the image of the pioneer of motorsport by winning the LeMans 24 race in 1966. The obstacle is the need to build a sports car in a short time (3 months instead of 9), then win a gruelling competition on the track. So far the undisputed winner is sports car legend Ferrari. Joining the ambitious projects are American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles, who fight against corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car and win the 24-hour race.

Favourite quote:

"There's a point at 7,000 RPM... where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless. Just disappears. And all that's left is a body moving through space and time. 7,000 RPM. That's where you meet it. You feel it coming. It creeps up on you, close in your ear. Asks you a question. The only question that matters. Who are you?"

Carroll Shelby: My name is Carroll Shelby and performance is my business...

(Despite having excellent tools, they cannot be said to be effective until they achieve the desired objectives)

Ken Miles: Look out there. Out there is the perfect lap. You see it?

Peter Miles: I think so.

Ken Miles: Most people can't.

(Separating visionaries from those with only business objectives)

Lee Iacocca: Carroll Shelby.

Carroll Shelby: Maybe?

Lee Iacocca: Lee Iacocca, Ford Motors. Suppose Henry Ford II wanted to build the greatest race car the world's ever seen, to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What's it take?

Carroll Shelby: Well, it takes somethin' money can't buy.

Lee Iacocca: Well, it can buy speed.

Carroll Shelby: It isn't about speed.

(Ideas that carry a higher purpose can convince sceptics of innovative ventures and attract a crowd of allies.)

[Henry Ford II reads the newspaper headline of Fiat buying Ferrari before dropping the paper and picking up his glass to pour a drink]

Leo Beebe: He played us. Old Man Enzo had no intention of selling to us. He used us to up his price, embarrass our company and insult your leadership. It was a bad idea from the start.

[Henry II approaches his executives]

Henry Ford II: What exactly did he say?

[pause, as Henry II takes a drink]

Lee Iacocca: He said Ford makes ugly little cars, and we make 'em... in an ugly factory. He said our executives are sons of whores.

[Henry II approaches Iacocca]

Henry Ford II: About me?

Lee Iacocca: He called you fat, sir. Pigheaded.

Henry Ford II: Go on.

Lee Iacocca: He said you're not Henry Ford. You're Henry Ford II.

[Henry II stares at Iacocca before walking back to his desk]

Henry Ford II: I want the best engineers. The best drivers. I don't care what it costs. We're gonna build a race car...

[Henry II finishes his drink and puts down his glass]

Henry Ford II: And we're gonna bury that goddamn greasy wop 100 feet deep under the finish line at Le Mans. And I will be there to watch it.

(Enzo Ferrari wykorzystał Forda jako BATNĘ (z ang. ang. Best alternative to a negotiated agreement; dosł. najlepsza alternatywa dla negocjowanego porozumienia) podczas negocjacji z Fordem, dzięki czemu zwiększył pozycję negocjacyjną w trakcie rozmów z Fiatem. Urażony Henry Ford II wziął sobie za cel wygraną z Enzo Ferrarim - emocjonalne przesłanki wzięły górę nad racjonalnymi działaniami.)

[Henry Ford II enters the assembly plant]

Henry Ford II: Shut it down, Mr. Beebe.

[Beebe turns around and faces the head engineer]

Leo Beebe: John.

[head engineer nods and shuts down the assembly line]

Henry Ford II: Hear that? That's the sound of the Ford Motor Company out of business.

[Henry II walks around]

Henry Ford II: IN 1899, my grandfather, Henry 'By God' Ford, was walking home from Edison Illumination after working a double shift. He was ruminating. That morning, he had himself an idea that changed the world. Sixty-five years, and 47 million automobiles later, what shall be his legacy? Getting it in the tail pipe from a Chevy Impala.

[workers chuckle]

Henry Ford II: Here's what I want you to do. Walk home.

[workers go silent]

Henry Ford II: While you're walking, I want you to ruminate. Man comes to my office with an idea, that man keeps his job. Rest of you, second-best losers... stay home. You don't belong at Ford.

( Belief and openness in every person playing even the most basic role in the creative process, which indicates Henry Ford II's very high leadership skills).

[Henry II starts crying after Shelby gives him a ride in the Ford GT40 Mk II]

Carroll Shelby: Mr. Ford? Are you okay?

[Henry II continues to sob]

Carroll Shelby: Mr. Ford? You all right?

Henry Ford II: I had no idea.


Henry Ford II: I had no idea. I wish my daddy... He were alive to see this. To feel this.

Carroll Shelby: This is not a machine that just anybody can get in and easily control.

Henry Ford II: Absolutely not. I had no idea.

Carroll Shelby: Now, you want to win Le Mans. You really want to take first place, Ken Miles is the man to do it.


Carroll Shelby: Now he knows this car 'cause he helped me build it.

Henry Ford II: Shelby, you know I've already appointed Leo Beebe Director of Racing.

Carroll Shelby: Which is exactly why I'm talking to you. Now you let Ken Miles race Daytona. If he wins, he gets to drive Le Mans.

Henry Ford II: And if he doesn't?

Carroll Shelby: Ford Motor Company to get full ownership of Shelby American. Lock, stock, and brand... forever.

(A corporate battle for position between Carroll Shelby and Leo Beebe, with the former putting everything on the line to win in this "mini race").

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 8.1/10

6. The founder

Why is this film worth seeing?

The presented story of the "fast food" we all know shows the clash of two different approaches to building a business. On the one hand, we meet two Macdonalds brothers who believe in local values and a low propensity for risk (they do great) versus a pragmatic sales representative who wants at all costs to create a company that will cover the entire United States. The film proves to the audience that an idea alone is not enough to succeed. An idea is just the beginning. The key is the determination that successful people so often talk about. For the few aware of the true essence of the Macdonalds business model, this film shows how real estate is an essential element of competitive advantage.

Favourite quote:

Ray Kroc: Now, I know what you're thinkin'. How the heck does a 52 year old, over-the-hill milkshake machine salesman... build a fast food empire with 16,000 restaurants, in 50 states, in 5 foreign countries... with an annual revenue of in the neighborhood of $700,000,000.00... One word... PERSISTENCE. Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won't. Nothing's more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won't. Unrecognized genius is practically a cliche. Education won't. Why the world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all powerful.

Ray Kroc: Let me explain something to you Dick... You boys have full say over what goes on inside the restaurants. But outside, above, below... your authority stops at the door. And at the floor. Alright?

Mac McDonald: What is he saying?

Dick McDonald: He's buying the land.

Mac McDonald: Our land?

Ray Kroc: [Ray shoves a burger in Jack's face as he is about to tee off] What is this?

Jack Horford: It appears to be a hamburger.

Ray Kroc: It's not a McDonald's hamburger.

[Ray lifts off the bun, showing the flaws]

Ray Kroc: Too much ketchup. Three pickles, not two. Lettuce. Lettuce, Jack?.

Jack Horford: Do you think we could discuss this later? We're in the middle of...

Ray Kroc: [interrupts and shows Jack the inside of the hamburger] And the patty, tragically overcooked.

Jerry Cullen: I don't know Ray, looks good to me.

Ray Kroc: [glaring] What the heck would you know about quality?

Ray Kroc: I'm looking for a few good men... and women. Who aren't afraid of hard work. Aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves. I'm looking for scrappers, hustlers, guys that are willing to roll up their sleeves. They're livin' on drive, they got a little fire in their belly. I stand right here before you today, I'm gonna offer you something as precious as gold. And you know what that is? Anybody? Anybody? Opportunity. It's opportunity. Opportunity. Opportunity to advance, to move forward, to move up, to advance... To succeed. To win. To step up. The sky's the limit. The sky is the limit. Grab the brass ring. To give yourself a shot at the American dream. Put your arms around the American dream. Opportunity. Cause I'll tell ya somethin... At McDonald's? It's like this great nation of ours... Some of that elbow grease. I guarantee ya, if you got the guts... the gumption, the desire... I guarantee ya you can succeed. There's gold to be had. At the end of... those Golden Arches... Golden Arches. Golden Arches. Now who's with me? Who wants to jump on that ladder to success? Be part of the McDonald's "mishpokhe". Now who's with me? Come on, lemme see some hands.

(Ray Kroc, like Henry Ford II, confirms that there are only a few individuals in the world who demonstrate off-the-charts thinking based on higher objectives, often referring to many years ahead)

Ray Kroc: [during the end credits] Nobody had eight multi-mixers in one business. So I went out there. And I was amazed! They were serving hamburgers for fifteen cents. French fries for ten cents and milkshakes for twenty cents. And basically that was the menu, and I said, that's for me. Now I have ultimatums, you know. Except that I'd like to be able to say that. I bought the agreement back from them for two million, seven hundred thousand dollars. I got the name, the golden arches, basically it was a matter of me working longer and harder than anybody else. I'll take every resource that I have and I'll put it in and I'll go for broke if I believe in it. The only thing I could do besides play the piano, was to talk. What happened to my talk? It's not dog eat dog out there in that competitive world, it's more like rat eat rat.

(The Macdonald's brothers have perfected the preparation of meals not only in terms of preparation time, price effectiveness but above all in terms of taste. The point of the film is to show the differences between the founders of this empire and the person with the vision to develop the business.)

Ocena na IMDb: ★ 7.2/10

7. Glengarry Glen Ross

Why is this film worth seeing?

In the office of a declining real estate agency, Premiere Properties, four long-serving agents face the spectre of restructuring and the challenge of keeping their jobs, which are only guaranteed to the best sales performers. One day a young, energetic and confident consultant, Blake, sent by the bosses, turns up and gives an ultimatum to the recently inefficient employees. Either they enter a sales competition and complete the old ungainly orders - for which you could be rewarded with a Cadillac car - or they face dismissal. Agents accept the challenge (they have no other prospects). They start competing against each other for two of the four jobs. They are so desperate that they are inclined to use lying, cheating, stealin