13 business lessons that you can learn from Kung Fu Panda

Few films have some many insights as to the animated film ‘Kung Fu Panda’. Although quite an enjoyable story it has many lessons which are both relevant and inspiring. So whilst sitting here watching the film I thought it would be prudent to write about all the life and business reminders intertwined within this entertaining adventure.


1) People respect those who persevere

Far to many people show potential but then never seem to live up to much, that is why perseverance is a key quality that investors and mentors look for. Everyone is going to face setbacks, but it is the way you react to them that can really determine your chances of success. Be solution orientated and find the best way out of every difficult situation.

2) Haters going to hate

Even his Master Shifu did not like him until Pandu had proved he had something special about him. Haters are going to hate but when you show them you have something different they will all begin to believe in you. Keep doing what in your heart you believe to be true and everything else will usually fall into place itself.

3) Everybody needs some guidance

It is interesting that even Master Shifu needs guidance from time to time as he misses something special that Pandu that is right in front of him. We should all be humble to accept that we can all use some guidance though out our entire business lives. We will never know it all, or see everything, so never get too big-headed to block out all good advice.

4) Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration 

We all thrive on inspiration, maybe a glowing compliant or simply someone in power acknowledging your potential. Grand Master Oogway proves that inspiration to Poo when no one else believes. That inspiration from someone who everyone else respected gave him the imputes to reach his full potential where he may have simply given up. Seek out those respected people who can perhaps provide you with the inspiration to reach your full potential. When someone else believes in you, it becomes much easier to believe in yourself.

5) You do not have to be bigger and better than anyone to success, you just need to have something about you that is different and unique.

Po was never as good at Kung fu as the ‘furious five’ but that never meant that he could not be better. He was better in ways that they could simply never be and that is what intimately made him the best. You also do not have to be bigger or better than competitors, you just have to be unique in ways they are now, and often that can be enough to make you a great contender.

6) Make sure you are happy in your business

Listen to yourself. If your job/business is making you unhappy now, it is unlikely to any better in the future. Make sure you enjoy it or you will regret all those years of handwork. You are in charge of making sure you make the most out of life, and no one said hard work does not have to be fun. Po knew that noodles was not his destiny but went along unhappily as he thought that is what he was expected to do. Only when he found his true calling did his life change for the better.

7) Actions taken in fear can lead to mistakes.

Don’t do things in fear because of your competitors. Always make sure it is best for your business. As Master Oggway said, One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.

Always focus on what is best for your business and not what is worst for your competitors.

8 ) Even the best still perfect their art every day – never stop learning and improving yourself

One would be coolest to ever think they know everything about the business. I have a lot of experience but I learn new things all the time. A lifetime is simply not enough to know everything. The ‘furious five’ were known as great warriors yet they still trained very hard every day.

9) Give something back – mentoring someone to help them achieve their full potential is the key to happiness.

‘Fei long’. just wanted everything, and that consumed him. The sensei’s believed in the good of others and that is what gave them fulfilment. The same is true in business, when you give back it fulfils you, so make it part of your life to help others see the successes that you have, it only makes you even more respected.

10) Not everyone can be good at everything, the key is to find what you are good at and build on that until it becomes a distinct key attribute

Too many people try to imitate others but the key to success is to play to your strengths. Find them, work on them and promote them. Po was great when he focused on food, so he used that to his advantage, as should you. Celebrate your uniqueness the way Po learnt too.

11) Don’t judge competitors by looks – judge them by competences and abilities. 

Quite simple, yet we all forget. Do not misjudge new market entrants or competitors simply based on an image. Look at what their core competence or KSP’s are and judge them on their content, not their outward appearances. Po did not look like much, yet he was always destined to become the Dragon Warrior. He was misjudged by everyone except Master Oogway, who was naturally wise beyond all his years.

12) Talent and potential is never enough, you have to guide it to reach its full potential.

Talent is just the start. You still need to train and guide it or you will never see it’s full potential. No one is ever born with it, they had to work at it – even if they showed some potential early on. There is no magic secret formula to success, we can all achieve it if we use our strength to our advantage

13) Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is all it takes.

Increase your chances by ensuring you put yourself in the right kind of places way more often…     If I missed out on any lessons, be sure to add them in the comments section below and if you haven’t watched the film in while, then now might be a good time to rent it!

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