It’s a Wonderful Life


“It’s a Wonderful Life” is my favorite movie of all time and will soon be on TV. I have seen it (all or parts of it) over 200 times (that is kind of sad to most people, but not me). My wife will not watch it with me anymore since I have a tendency to say the lines during the movie (fun for me, not so much for her). Enough about my weirdness.

One reason I love the movie is that it can be viewed from many different perspectives. One of those perspectives is leadership. I believe that “It’s a Wonderful Life” has a huge leadership message that is very simple:

Leadership is about influence; nothing more and nothing less.

George Bailey, the lead character, modeled servant leadership. He focused on serving others by helping people through hard times, standing up for what is right, and giving of himself. At one point he got in trouble and wished he had never been born. That wish was granted and turned into a great gift — the ability to see his true influence on his family, friends, community and business. That insight allowed him to stop playing the victim and regretting his decisions in life. George changed his perspective and could embrace his life (the good and the bad). His life did not turn out how he wanted and that was ok. He had a tremendous positive influence on everyone because of his leadership. With that revelation, he saw that he did make a difference. He did have a Wonderful Life.

During this Christmas season, take time to reflect on your life and your leadership. Each day, week, and year we can get caught up in our struggles and feel like George. We will never have the same opportunity that George had. However, we can be thankful for how blessed we are.

You have a Wonderful Life. You are making a difference to your family, friends, clients and teammates. As you grow as a leader, your influence will also grow. So, lead the Interstates Way and all of those people will continue to benefit from it (and so will you).

Thanks for making this year’s EIL amazing, and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Scott Peterson