Learning from Movies: The Magnificent Seven

Posted on March 28, 2011


In honor of the late, great, American icon of cool, Steve McQueen (whose birthday was March 24th), I bring you lessons and inspiration from The Magnificent Seven.

  • Oh, Hell. If that’s all that’s holding things, up, I’ll drive the rig.
    • Volunteer. You advertise your talents and expertise, and you might make a friend.
  • It’s not getting up there that bothers me. It’s staying up there that I mind.
    • Everything ends – contracts, relationships, and product lines alike. Plan your exit strategy from the beginning.
  • Know how the other party values their offer. It might be everything the other party has.
  • A dollar bill always looks as big to me as a bedspread.
    • Conversely, know what the offer is worth to you.
  • Once you begin, you better be prepared for killing and more killing, and then still more killing until the reason for it is gone.
    • Commit. Think as long you as you have to, but once you decide, commit completely and all the way to the end
  • The graveyards are full of boys who were very young, and very proud.
  • If he’s the best with a knife or a gun, with whom does he compete?
    • Don’t buy the hype. Even if you’re widely acknowledged as the best, you compete with yourself. Someone is always gunning for number 1.
  • He’s a good gun, and we aren’t heading for a church social.
    • Know why you’re hiring, and who you’re likely to get.
  • Don’t assume.
    • Always ask yourself: What if there is no silver mine? What if there is only what appears at first glance?
  • It might be the greatest shot you’ve ever seen, or the worst. It depends on what you were trying to do.
  • They were built to keep you in.
    • You don’t know why your competition did something, only that they did it. Watch your step.
  • If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.
    • Know your customers/audience
  • Solving your problems isn’t our line. We deal in lead, friend.
    • Know your core competencies.
  • Never challenge the kid. He doesn’t know you’re kidding.
    • Then again, he might be bold and clever enough to get the crazy job done.
  • Fathers are braver than men who carry guns, because fathers carry responsibility.
  • The kind of contracts you have to keep are the kinds that courts won’t enforce.
  • Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody.
    • Know how much you’re willing to take, and when you’re ready to fight.
  • You never owe anyone except yourself.
  • The fighting is over. Your work is done. For them, each season has its tasks. If there were a season for gratitude, they’d show it more.
    • Write your resignation letter on day 1. Know when it’s time to get out.
Posted in: Leadership, Movies