As a manager, your responsibility is to guide your team. But what makes someone a good manager, and how can you become one?

Well, you could sign up for endless training exercises and self-development courses. Or you could binge-watch the best TED Talks on leadership. But did you know you can learn valuable lessons on how to be a good manager from the movies, too?

With the help of the Massive Movie Calendar from Carphone Warehouse, we’ve collected a list of the top movies all managers should watch for lessons in patience, perseverance, and leadership.

Steve Jobs

From the unveiling of the first Macintosh to the revolutionary iMac, this film charts the career of entrepreneur and Apple Chairman Steve Jobs. Along the way, we see how Jobs used his controversial leadership style to deal with personal problems and challenges in his company.

Why It’s a Must-See

Jobs had some obvious weaknesses — from his uncompromising attitude to his impatient demeanor — so emulating his management style isn’t something we’d recommend. But he constantly strove for excellence, which is something to be admired. He motivated colleagues to dream big and had the ability to envision profits where others could not.


No manager is perfect. We all make mistakes, but the important thing is to own up to them. Richard Nixon’s attempt to cover up the Watergate scandal led to the end of his presidency. He agreed to be interviewed by David Frost to redeem himself, but after hours of debate and questions, he caved under pressure and was brought to justice.

Why It’s a Must-See

Honesty is the best policy — something Nixon learned the hard way. As a manager, it’s important to communicate what’s going on and to be transparent. Nixon’s example teaches us that if you do something wrong, admit your mistakes and move on.


A spaceship is attacked by an extraterrestrial creature that wreaks havoc on the crew. This sci-fi horror flick might not be an obvious choice for would-be managers, but hear us out.

Why It’s a Must-See

During this time of crisis, crew member Ellen Ripley steps up. She keeps her cool throughout the ordeal, sticks to her guns, invents attack strategies on the spot, and successfully manages the crisis, coming out alive against all odds. This film is practically a bible for crisis management.

Groundhog Day

Phil, a famous weatherman, is out to report the annual emergence of the groundhog in Pittsburgh. Uninterested in what’s going on, Phil is your typical manager-cum-miser. He’s irritable, rude, and can’t wait to go home, but a blizzard leaves him stranded in a small town and trapped in a time loop, forcing him to live the same day over and over again.

Why It’s a Must-See

Phil had no choice but to keep reliving the same day, but he eventually took the opportunity to right his wrongs and develop his skills. No matter how many times you get it wrong, persistence is key to mending bad management ways. Phil learns to play the piano, speak French, and woo the girl he loves. As a manager, the skills you develop will be a little different, but the principle is the same.


Here’s a lesson for all power-hungry managers. Scottish general Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches who predict he will one day be the king of Scotland. Blinded by his own desire for power, he murders the current king and claims the throne for himself, but he’s soon consumed with guilt.

Why It’s a Must-See

Macbeth was never content with taking orders. He was extremely ambitious, which is no bad thing, but he allowed his ambition to overrule everything else — including his morals. At the end of the day, this is a classic tale of how power corrupts. Remember, even though you’re the manager, everyone is working toward the same goal. Support your team and don’t let the power go to your head!

Empire Records

Don’t you love it when a business plan comes together? When an employee at an independent record store discovers it may be sold to a corporate chain, he takes the day’s earnings to Atlantic City and bets it all in the hope of some big returns to save Empire Records. It doesn’t quite work out, so the gang must figure out how to protect the store.

Why It’s a Must-See

Despite a variety of work and personal issues, the colleagues come together to solve a big business problem. Ultimately, Empire Records is a good example of how innovation and teamwork can solve major problems.

Victoria Chase is an experienced writer who has worked across a wide variety of industries including fashion, travel, beauty, retail, and B2B.

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