94SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nick Davis Nick Davis is a Business Psychologist and Director at Davis Associates, a Surrey-based HR consultancy in the UK. Davis Associates works with companies of all sizes to inspire greater individual, … Web: davisassociates.co.uk Details If you’re looking to improve your leadership capability, you’re most likely seeking advice and inspiration from a number of sources. You might be spending hours reading compelling business leader biographies. You may be networking with opinion leaders on LinkedIn and using them as a source of knowledge. You might also look into executive coaching, a tactic recommended by many, including Forbes Magazine. All of these are advisable and valuable ways to up your leadership game and help you achieve your potential.Sometimes, however, leadership lessons come out of left field. The most unexpected of sources can provide value and help you to become the leader you envision yourself developing into. Even certain popular children’s cartoons can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to inspiring others, motivating positive behavior, and leading a team. So, perhaps our parents were wrong and those hours spent in front of the TV were not at all a waste of time!Below are just a few examples of cartoons that instill valuable leadership lessons.X-Men teaches us to embrace and capitalize on individual strengthsThe X-Men are, of course, based on a comic book series, but the cartoonized version is immensely popular and can teach us a lot about teamwork and leadership.X-Men centers on Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Charles Xavier leads a diverse group of characters, all with conflicting personalities, preferences, and motivations. Although Xavier has the ability to control whoever he wants, his leadership style is to give everyone freedom and autonomy. He knows the right way to inspire loyalty is to allow his team to be themselves and work in their own way.Xavier appreciates his students for their unique, individual strengths. He makes room for their development and encourages them to become great in their own authentic way. This technique has regularly been shown to be effective, with Gallup revealing that employees who make full use of their strengths outperform those who don’t. Great leaders should build a strengths-based culture. They are supportive and give people room to grow. This is what we’ve learned from Xavier: strict authority figures are far less effective than a coach who can guide you, but not control you.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaches the importance of conflict resolution and humilityTMNT has been around for a while, and children love it because the turtles make such a great team. Even when they’re at odds with one another, they learn to set aside their differences and work together to achieve their joint goals. They’re honest, open, and effective — the show being a treasure trove of valuable leadership knowledge. They have a leader in the form of Master Splinter, who appears to have put forth Leonardo as a participant in his very own leadership development program. Splinter is far from being an anonymous leader; he’s always on hand to give advice, communicate, and coach. Importantly, however, Splinter also knows how to encourage his team to discover the answer for themselves.The problem the turtles often encounter is interpersonal conflict. This is inevitable; they’re brothers, after all. As the older brother, Leonardo often has difficulty trying to control Raphael. Splinter teaches Leonardo that arguing amongst a team is a huge waste of time, and that communication is necessary for peaceful conflict resolution. Simultaneously, Splinter lets Leonardo know that, as a leader, he might not always be appreciated:“Leadership is not about being appreciated, it’s about responsibility. It doesn’t matter that the burden is heavy. It matters that you carry it”.This quote shows us that leadership is not for everyone. In a position of leadership, you won’t always feel valued or appropriately recognized, but you’ve still got a huge amount of responsibility and you need to carry on regardless. Rather than focusing on yourself in such circumstances, leaders should keep their eye on the prize — the overall goal that the team is working towards.The Lion King shows us that leaders aren’t born; they developThe Lion King has a special hold over a lot of us. It’s hardly a new movie, but children today can still watch it on loop, fascinated by the story, the colors, and the music. When you look at it from a managerial perspective, you will also notice some more subtle messages regarding leadership and development.Simba was born a prince, and so born into a position of future leadership responsibility. However, his ascension to the throne isn’t so clear-cut.When growing up he sings about what he believes leadership is about – exerting power over others and demanding compliance. However, after disaster struck and he went into self-imposed exile, he was forced to mature, both physically and mentally. Through his struggles, he developed intelligence, courage, and kindness. He had to spend time away from his pride to truly understand his position and influence. And as a result, he ultimately proved to be a remarkable leader.Scar is another example of how you simply can’t be born into leadership. Though he was next in line to the throne before Simba was born, we learn that his leadership style left a lot to be desired. He was egocentric, selfish, and short-sighted; a terrible recipe for a leader. He only cared for his own position and for glory and paid little to no attention to his own responsibilities.It’s clear that we have a lot to learn from animation, and that leadership lessons are all around us. So perhaps instead of dissuading our children from indulging in another TV show or movie, we should instead engage them in worthwhile conversations about people management, teamwork and furthering both their and our own leadership potential.