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Back in 2013, The Wolf of Wall Street was released in movie theaters throughout the world. The film tells the story of former stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Belfort was the founder of a boiler room brokerage firm called Stratton Oakmont that was essentially forced by the government to cease operating in 1996. He would eventually be convicted of multiple financial crimes and sent to prison for 22 months.

While the film portrays a cautionary tale, The Wolf of Wall Street can also be viewed as a case study about how to manage, inspire and lead people.

Take the Time to Develop Your Employees

In the movie, streaming on Paramount+, Jordan Belfort founded Stratton Oakmont with his neighbor Donnie despite the fact that Donny had no prior experience in sales. Donnie had also never worked in the financial industry before joining Belfort’s company, which should have made it almost impossible for the firm to succeed.

However, one of Belfort’s strengths as a leader was inspiring people to match the potential he saw within them. He developed a system that allowed his inexperienced employees to talk to customers in a confident and straightforward manner.

By following a simple script, they were able to anticipate and overcome the objections that their prospective clients had. Since the system was easy to implement and learn, it allowed Stratton Oakmont to scale operations and gain market share quickly despite the fact that it was an unknown firm.

If you choose to start your own company, you’ll likely be forced to hire friends, family members or others who may not seem like great fits for your organization. While this may not seem ideal, it does give you an opportunity to identify what you actually want or need from those who join your company going forward. It also helps you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses as a leader — and what you need to do to get the most from your people.

Motivate People With Perks That Matter to Them

Stratton Oakmont was a sleazy brokerage firm that used pressure tactics to get people to invest in obscure penny stocks. Of course, the firm wasn’t doing this in an effort to help its clients obtain outsized returns on their investments. Instead, it was attempting to inflate the share value of companies that few educated investors would actually want to own.

When these shares reached a predetermined price point, they would be sold with little or no warning. Anyone who still owned shares of these companies lost most or all of their initial investment. However, Stratton Oakmont made a significant amount of money from commissions and other fees that it charged to its clients each time a transaction occurred.

Despite this, the company managed to recruit and develop employees who were extremely loyal to the firm and to Jordan Belfort himself because he was able to convince his workers that the only thing in life that mattered was becoming wealthy.

There is a memorable scene in the film where Belfort offers his brokers an opportunity to leave the company with no questions asked. However, he says that those who stay with him are winners who are going to have fancy cars, hot spouses, and the overall freedom that comes with being wealthy. Conversely, those who leave are going to be stuck in broken-down vehicles, normal spouses, and an overall low quality of life (according to Belfort).

The film depicts a culture that equates wealth with success, regardless of how it’s achieved. As a general rule, no one wants to be seen as a loser or as someone who isn’t capable of getting the job done.

While Belfort’s methods were unethical and illegal, the film highlights the importance of understanding what truly motivates your employees. By aligning company goals with employee aspirations, leaders can create a more engaged and productive workforce.

Value Constructive Feedback

A key factor in Belfort’s downfall was his inability to listen to dissenting voices. Of course, it didn’t help that he surrounded himself with patsies who were more interested in what Belfort could do for them as opposed to people who had the company’s best interests in mind.

For most of the movie, Belfort’s friend Donnie does little more than acquire illicit substances for Jordan. Jordan’s other close friends idolize him too much to actually question his methods or reign him in at all. His dad was probably the only person who tried to make him see the error of his ways and shut down his scheme before he got into major trouble with the government.

Although he seemed to take his dad’s advice to heart, Belfort ultimately decides that sticking it to his critics is more important than atoning for his sins. While this made him a hero to his employees, his lack of awareness was what ultimately brought his company down.

As a leader, you need to surround yourself with people who will tell you what you need to hear even when the truth is inconvenient. Furthermore, the true test of leadership is the ability to do what must be done even if it may force you to swallow your pride and admit that you were wrong.

Create a Workplace Culture That Is Respectful and Inclusive

In the movie, Stratton Oakmont was portrayed as having a culture that glorified sex and drug use while on the job. It’s important to understand that allowing these things to happen at work would likely constitute a hostile workplace.

Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to ensure that employees feel safe whenever they are performing tasks for your organization.

In Summary

There are many lessons that you can learn about leadership by watching The Wolf of Wall Street. These lessons include the importance of developing and motivating your employees to be their best even if it may be a difficult process.

It’s also important to appreciate the importance of having a leadership team that you can trust for advice and guidance. Finally, it’s generally in your best interest to listen to the members of that leadership team so that you can avoid making mistakes that might harm your company and its employees.

By csannusharma

CS Annu Sharma is a qualified and experienced professional in the field of Company Secretarial and Legal activities. With an impressive academic background and relevant certifications, she has demonstrated exceptional expertise and dedication in her career. Education: Qualified Company Secretary (CS) from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). Graduate in Law from Indraparasth Law College, enabling a strong legal foundation in her professional journey. Graduate in Commerce from Delhi University, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of financial and business concepts. Certifications: Certified CSR Professional from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), showcasing her commitment to corporate social responsibility and ethical business practices. Work Experience: She possesses an extensive and diversified work experience of more than 7 years, focusing on Secretarial and Legal activities. Throughout her career, she has consistently showcased her ability to handle complex corporate governance matters and legal compliance with utmost efficiency and precision. Current Position: Currently, Mrs. Annu holds a prominent position in an NSE Listed Entity, namely Globe International Carriers Limited, based in Jaipur. As a key member of the organization, she plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, advising the management on corporate governance best practices, and safeguarding the company's interests. Professional Attributes: Thorough knowledge of corporate laws, regulations, and guidelines in India, enabling her to provide strategic insights and support in decision-making processes. Expertise in handling secretarial matters, including board meetings, annual general meetings, and other statutory compliances. Proficiency in drafting legal documents, contracts, and agreements, ensuring accuracy and adherence to legal requirements. Strong understanding of corporate social responsibility and its impact on sustainable business practices. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, enabling effective collaboration with various stakeholders, both internal and external. Personal Traits: Mrs. Annu Khandelwal is known for her dedication, integrity, and commitment to maintaining the highest ethical standards in her professional conduct. Her meticulous approach to work and attention to detail make her an invaluable asset to any organization she is associated with. Conclusion: Cs Annu 's profile exemplifies a highly qualified and accomplished Company Secretary, well-versed in legal matters and corporate governance. With her wealth of experience and commitment to excellence, she continues to contribute significantly to the success and growth of the organizations she serves.

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