Leadership Skills From James Bond’s Villains

The villains that James Bond faces can be described with a lot of adjectives including tenacious, grand, overachieving, and compelling. The same can be said of strong leadership. According to Albert J. Murphy, a professor at New York University, leaders are made by their circumstances and the time period they live in as much if not more than their destiny. The same can be said of a villain, and likely many of the Bond villains would have made great world leaders if not for their circumstances.

According to Mike Myatt a contributor for Forbes, leadership means stepping out of your comfort zone. A good leader and villain both have to cross lines they’re unfamiliar with for the sake of the ultimate goal. Here are a few lessons you can learn from some unlikely characters.

Leadership Skills Learned From James Bond Villains


Aim High 

A popular quote frequently attributed to Les Brown is: “Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you will land among the stars.” No proper villain or good leader thinks small. Plan for world domination, and even if you fail you’ve still dominated a chunk of the world. (Although I am sure Elektra King from The World Is Not Enough would disagree with the consolation prize of only half the world.) Aim much higher than is expected and the end result will be greater than if the goal was smaller, even if the goal is not actually reached.

Surround Yourself With People With Similar Goals

Vladimir Scorpius surrounded himself with an entire cult to help him achieve his evil goals, and despite his untimely demise, he caused a lot of trouble and came close to killing the leaders of the free world. None of that would have been possible if he did not surround himself with like-minded people. The same is true for leaders with more laudable goals. Surround yourself with people for relate to, and whom have similar goals, and you will find that achieving what you set out to do is that much easier.

Do Not Give Up

If all of the villains gave up the first time Bond threw an obstacle their way, the world of 007 would be a safer place, and the movies would be far less exciting. Many say that failure is giving up; the person who succeeds is the person who did not give up despite many ups and downs. A good leader knows that failure is expected on the road to success, and never gives up or allows moral to fall with setbacks. Simply going for world domination or destruction is not enough. Villains and leaders alike throw their entire being into their objective. After all, getting distracted is no way to win at anything.

Obsession Is A Good Thing

We’re often instructed to fall in love with our work. No Bond villain was without an unhealthy obsession, and that is what drove them to do really wacky things, such as make hybrid eel-human soldiers to take over Europe like Lord Randolph Hellebore does in SilverFin. Obsessing over more healthy things is a trait that leaders share.

Do Not Blend In With The Crowd

Looking and acting strangely has its perks for bond villains, like Jaws’ garish mouth that was also his strong point in Moonraker. A Bond villain rarely looks like the guy who does your taxes. Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s odd appearance and habits inspired Mike Meyers’ to create the similarly cat-toting character “Dr. Evil” in the Austin Powers movies, helping to continue the tradition of villains as eccentric cat lovers. Most leaders stand out from the crowd, although typically not for an unusual trademark look. Good leaders stand out in their behavior, what separates a leader from the rest of the group is the fact that a leader will make different, generally wiser choices than others. Leaders stand out, and that is why people follow them.

Focus on Self-Improvement

To get ahead, thinking like a leader means seeing things just a little differently, and recognizing where you can learn. Blofeld returned time and time again on various similar evil missions, and each time he had to draw upon his past experiences. In the real world, looks matter when climbing the career ladder. The saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is true. Career-smart individuals go out of their way to make sure that their work wardrobe is professional; they walk up right, and even go so far as to have imperfect smiles straightened in order to improve themselves and how others might perceive them.

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Today’s post is from guest blogger Sandra Mills.

Sandra is a freelance writer and James Bond fan-girl who enjoys writing about family, health and careers.


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