Encanto isn’t just about the earworms songs, here are 9 business lessons that I found when I watched Disney’s new blockbuster (yes I do have the soundtrack saved to my Spotify!)
If you’ve just come back from a trip to the moon, or don’t know any children you might not be familiar with the hit Disney movie, Encanto. The film tells the story of the Family Madrigal who live in an enchanted village in Columbia and are gifted with a magical house where every child is blessed with magical power, except for the youngest daughter Mirabel.
While the story is told from the point of view of Mirabel and her struggle with being the only non-magical Madrigal, every character has a story to tell and something to teach us, not just in life, but in business too.
Mirabel is the only Madrigal child without a magical power. She feels she doesn’t fit in and that her and her contribution isn’t as important as anyone else in the family. Mirabel is the classic symbol of imposter syndrome; always comparing herself unfavourably to others and unable to see how valuable her unique talents are.
As the heroine of the story, it is only she that is able to save the family by being inquisitive about other people and tenacious. She has a different point of view to the magical characters and is able to see the threat, and solution, that the others don’t.
Mirabel shows us how to value what makes us different and believe in ourselves.
Isabela grows beautiful flowers and is a symbol of beauty and perfection, but inside she’s concealing who she is and what she really wants to please her family.
When she is her true self she creates unexpected, colourful cacti and spikey plants that are beautiful in their own way.
Isabela reminds us to be true to ourselves and how showing up authentically creates magic, rather than going through life people-pleasing.
Super strong Luisa shows us that we can’t keep pretending that we’re strong and can do it all.
Making time to rest and have fun is important too and being vulnerable allows people to help us.
Abeula Alma, the matriarch, tries to protect her family and village by holding on to how things have been and misses seeing the value of Mirabel because she doesn’t fit Alma’s expectation of how things should be.
Alma’s rigidness is, ultimately, what puts the family at risk by alienating family members and weakening the family unit
When Alma accepts and is reconciled with Mirabel, and Bruno (we don’t talk about Bruno), the magic candle is re-ignited and the family home rebuilt.
Rigidness and sticking to how things have always been done, closes us down and makes us scared of change. It builds walls, separates us from our community and blinds us to opportunities.
Being open to change allows you to see the talents in your team and create new opportunities.
From our four Encanto characters we’ve learnt that
- Be yourself and stop comparing yourself to others
- Believe in your different point of view and unique talents
- Being your authentic self creates magic and new adventures
- People pleasing by compromising who you are is bad for your wellbeing
- Being vulnerable is as important as being strong
- Taking time to rest and play is essential to wellbeing
- Rigid thinking and inflexibility of approach is a risk to growth and development
- Embrace change and discover new opportunities
- Being open to community and diversity builds a stronger business
Ultimately Encanto is a story about family, finding your place in the world and finding the value in being our authentic selves (with songs)
Which is a pretty good life and business lesson, I’d love to hear what you took away from Encanto – catch up with me on Instagram and share your thoughts.