| 18 June, 2021 | 10 Min Read

20 best movies of all time about leadership and management

Watching movies is a way to learn and get some entertainment while you’re on a break. Check out some of the best movies to spark your inspiration.

You don’t have to read a book or attend large conferences to gain some knowledge. Instead of all the dry and tedious educational activities, watching movies about leadership is a good substitute. And you can get both entertainment and resourceful insights at once within the comfort of your home.

As a leader, managing your team members can be overwhelming, and you’ll need all the motivation you can get. These movies could provide various, unique, and inspiring perspectives on leadership and management. But, at the same time, you can enjoy them right on your sofa. 

Without further ado, here are 20 Inspiring Movies that’ll prompt you to keep pushing;

The Devil Wears Prada (2016) 

IMDb: 6.9/10

Being an assistant to a vicious boss might be one of the scariest things about getting a job. And Andrea had a taste of that terror. The Devil Wears Prada tells the story of a young aspiring journalist who knew nothing about fashion and style and her vicious boss, an editor-in-chief at Runway Magazine.

After months of being thoroughly dehumanized by her boss, she took it upon herself to be a great asset to the company while learning on the job. The determination shown by Andrea, despite all odds, is one to embrace. It also shows the importance of proper guidance.

Invictus (2009)

IMDb: 7.3/10

If you like sports, politics, the history of racism, and of course, supreme leadership - this movie is the perfect match. The film explains the series of events in South Africa before the 1995 Rugby World Cup and competition. Mandela, the first black president in South Africa, seeks to end the racial tension in his country through Rugby.

This movie gives a complete picture of what inspirational leadership is and the heights it can take a team to. In addition, all the untold secrets of being a resourceful leader are portrayed in this movie.

The Social Network (2010)

IMDb: 7.7/10

Grove HR - Movie about leadership and management - The social network

The Social Network (2010) - Source: Printerest


The movie dives into the life of Mark Zuckerberg and the invention of Facebook. You get to see how Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, his friend and co-founder, try to settle a conflict that brought them both to the law court.

While this movie doesn’t look like the typical inspirational movie, it has many underlying messages that keep you moving. This movie depicts different characters and how they embraced team spirit to build one of today's largest social networks. The film also depicts the real-life struggles entrepreneurs face in starting up a business and how consistency always yields results.

12 Angry Men (1957)

IMDb: 9/10

After an 18-year old became the main suspect of his father’s death, 12 men in a courtroom deliberated on whether or not the defendant was innocent. As time goes by and they seem not to have any solid leads, tension begins to build up. And they all let their emotions take over.

This courtroom drama doesn’t particularly reveal itself as a leadership movie. But all 12 men display different characters that illustrate the importance of collective and critical thinking. In this movie, you’ll see why discarding opinions kills the essence of decision-making.

Up in the Air (2009) 

IMDb: 7.4/10

Grove HR - Movie about leadership and management  - Up in the Air

Up in the Air (2009) - Source: Printerest


Ryan Bingham is an HR professional with no regard for emotions. He somewhat found delight in laying people off and got employed by several companies to lay off staff members. Things took a turn when a young lady with a different approach to laying employees off embarked on a business journey of firing more employees with Bingham.

In this movie, you learn how the employees make the company and not the technology that facilitates their accomplishments. You also get to communicate with employees on the same level of empathy.

Norma Rae (1979)

IMDb: 7.3/10

A single mother with two kids works at a textile factory she resents so much. Leaving wasn’t an option, as she needed the job to take care of her family. Instead, she begins to take control of the work structure and made it better for everyone.

The movie shows how you don’t need to hold a high role in a company to make a difference. Despite Norma’s position in the industry, she took charge and made changes.

The Insider (1999)

IMDb: 7.8/10

A family man with two kids and a wife holds a secret that will ruin the operations of the tobacco industry, “big tobacco." Being an insider in this industry keeps him in a tight spot, as he battles between doing what’s right or conforming to the pressure from the industry.

At the end of this movie, you see how much bravery and courage it takes to do the right thing, especially when dealing with big corporations. And how it is always worth it in the end.

Office Space (1999)

IMDb: 7.7/10

A bunch of unmotivated programmers at Initech try to make a living in a terrible work environment. When they find out their boss’s plan to lay them off despite their hard work, they take their revenge on the company’s accounting system.

While this movie keeps you entertained, there’s so much more than just a good laugh. This movie portrays the real-life struggles of employees and how they deal with the daily frustrations their horrible bosses put them through.

Working Girl (1988)

IMDb: 6.8/10

Katherine, a conniving boss, steals the idea of her secretary, Tess, without giving due credit. After a series of events, Katherine ends up in a hospital with an injured leg. Her secretary seized this opportunity and sealed a business deal while pretending to be her.

Working Girl shows the essence of being truthful and authentic at all times. No matter what level you are in an organization, staying true remains a priority.

Other People’s Money (1991) 

IMBd: 6.2/10

Garfield, a successful corporate raider, rips companies off their money by selling their assets after buying them. He had a pretty flawless record until he met the beautiful attorney, Kate, hired to defend his next target.

The film shows that behind every corporate organization are people and families who depend on its operation. It also illustrates how there’s an imbalance between wealth maximization and social responsibility. To create good capitalism, there needs to be a balance between both.


Netflix movies about leadership for you to stream now

Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (2019)

IMDb: 7.9/10

The name Bill Gates has, over the years, become synonymous with innovation, wealth, and most importantly, leadership. The Microsoft co-founder successfully led the company from its humble beginnings, growing it into one of the most influential companies in the world. 

The documentary series stars Bill Gates himself as he answers questions about his life and career. If you’re looking for proven and practical strategies for leadership, this should definitely be on your watchlist. 

The Founder (2016)

IMDb: 7.2/10

The Founder is the story of how salesman Ray Kroc meets the owners of McDonald's, a burger joint in Southern California. And how Ray turned the innovative fast food eatery into the biggest restaurant business in the world through a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.

Prioritizing customer service was one of McDonald’s secrets to success. So, if there’s one lesson to be learnt, it will be the love for customer satisfaction and the essence of franchising.

The Internship (2013)

IMDb: 6.3/10

The Internship (2013) - Source: Quotegram


A bunch of interns embark on the Google journey, completing several tasks and challenges that’ll qualify them for a full-term job at Google. However, there seems to be a slight diversification in age group, as two former salesmen applied as interns at this company.

Learning that a fresh start isn’t usually as much of a bad idea as you think is key to breaking boundaries. Age is just a number, and you shouldn’t let the calendar put limits on your potential.

Moneyball (2011) 

IMDb: 7.6/10

A baseball coach tries to build a super team from a ridiculously low budget. But, unfortunately, all he had was a young economist he met while scouting at Cleveland Indians. With statistical analysis that assesses a player’s value, the team starts to make progress.

The movie depicts how applying old-fashioned techniques and ideas might be what your team needs to improve productivity. You also don’t need the highest budget to make the best out of what you’ve got. Sometimes, all you need is an idea and a will.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)  

IMDb: 7.7/10

A New York office of real estate sales assistants is pressured to make as many sales as possible to keep their jobs. So, they employ several unethical and dubious tactics to drive sales.

In this film, you see the struggles of being a salesperson and how a threat will only prompt ridiculous actions. The wrong approach to motivation and its consequences are illustrated in this movie.

Yes Man (2008) 

IMDb: 6.8/10

A negative-minded Carl Allen always has one answer to everything, NO. His cynical mindset began when he and his wife filed for divorce. Carl’s old colleague suggested that he attended a YES Seminar, which pretty much changed his life and made him say YES to everything.

What lessons can you take from this movie? Positivity. Seizing every opportunity is the best way to grow. Although Carl realized he took the YES exercise too far, he learned that there was really no harm in trying.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

IMDb: 8/10

Grove HR - Movie about leadership and management  - The pursuit of happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) - Quote


The Pursuit of Happyness tells the story of a salesman who invested his life savings on bone density scanners that didn’t break the market like he thought they would. He spent the rest of his life training his 4-year-old son and career with no house, unpaid income taxes, an unpaid internship, and relentless efforts.

In this movie, you learn persistence and commitment. You also get to see how standing out and being innovative gets you far. This film also emphasizes the importance of landing a job and financial stability.

Steve Jobs (2015)

IMDb: 7.2/10

Ever wondered what the life of Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs was like? Here’s a movie that depicts the crucial stages of the iconic tech-savvy. In this film, you see what life as a technology revolutionary and a family man.

Centred around three critical product launches in his career and the struggle to start his company, the movie preaches resilience. Illustrating Jobs' fierceness, passion-driven attitude, and commitment, this movie will motivate you to chase your dreams. Job substituted his lack of skills for his unwavering vision, which was of significant impact to Apple.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

IMDb: 8.2/10

Jordan Belfort began his journey as an entry-level broker, where he worked till he found his firm. Belfort, however, didn’t handle his corporation the right way. Instead, he and his gang of brokers lived a luxurious life - spending money got from defrauding investors.

The unethical business structure run by Belfort is far from the lesson to take away from this movie. Instead, his charismatic leadership, willingness, and dedication to bringing his team out of challenging situations are the valuable lessons you’ll find in this film.

Queen of Katwe (2016) 

IMDb: 7.4/10

A young local girl from Uganda finds her love and passion for Chess. With the help of her coach, she became an international champion, saving her family from the cruel hands of poverty.

The movie emphasizes the importance of good management and how it can help bring the best out of a team. It also shows how much you can achieve as a woman with no limits.

Developing yourself doesn't have to be stressful

As a CEO, manager, HR, or employee, you are tasked to enrich yourself with new knowledge, ideas, and trends in the fields of work. However, the process won't always have to be dry and heavy. Various forms of self-learning for HR could choose from are:

  • Reading HR books
  • Listening to HR podcasts
  • Watching HR Youtube channels
  • Attending online HR webinars. (Re-watch our Live Webinar here)

More to it, you can join HR Facebook groups to be well-informed about new knowledge and opportunities in the HR world.

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