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Kung Fu Panda And Leadership

Written by: Wil Becker, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I was invited to speak at one of my son's school for career day. I was surprised when my son asked me. He said, “Dad, maybe one of the kids or teachers will hear what you have to say, and they will want to do what you are doing. It has helped you and our family so much!”

I was humbled by his request and started thinking of how I can teach what I do to a classroom of 10-year-old kids. I had about one and a half months to think about it before I would be speaking. Little did I know that I would get the privilege of speaking before 8 classrooms for about 15 to 20 minutes each.

I decided to use a kid’s film that many of them had probably seen … Kung Fu Panda. I love these films and believe that they teach some important lessons about life.

First, who is Po’s dad? What does Po’s dad do?

He’s a goose and he owns a restaurant where he makes soup, dumplings, stinky tofu, and noodles.

What does Po dream about in the beginning of the movie?

Poe wakes up from his dream and he’s dreaming about one thing. He spends all day thinking about that one thing. That one thing is not cooking, but Kung Fu!! We learn that Po wants to be a Kung Fu Master one day! However, Po doesn’t believe that he can become a Kung Fu Master because he isn’t like the Furious Five.

As the movie unfolds, we learn that Master Oogway is going to pick the Dragon Warrior. This is a huge event that many in the valley have been anticipating. When Po learns of this, he encourages everyone to go to the Jade Palace (the center of town and where some learn Kung Fu).

Po then goes to the Jade Palace to see who is going to be the Dragon Warrior. As he attempts to see who it will be, he ends up lighting a chair packed with fireworks. It launches in the air and dissolves before landing Po in the middle of the courtyard of the palace.

He opens his eyes to Master Oogway pointing at him. He asks if he was pointing to Tigress and he said, “No, I am pointing to you”.

Po is then taken into the palace where he is shunned by his heroes, dismissed by his teacher Master Shifu, and the only person who has faith in him, Master Oogway, dies. Oogway's last command to his student, Master Shifu, is to take his place and train Po.

In my life, I have a Master Oogway and his name is Orrin Woodward. He is an internationally recognized leadership and management expert. He wrote a book called Launching a Leadership Revolution with his business partner Chris Brady. It became a New York Times Best Seller.

Who is Master Shifu? What is kind of animal is Master Shifu?

Master Shifu is a student of Master Oogway and the teacher of the Furious Five! He is also a red panda! In my life, I have a Master Shifu. His name is Jeremy Slade and he lives in Arizona. I get to work with him and talk with him on a regular basis and he helps me to learn and understand leadership and put it into practice.

Master Shifu is not sure how to teach Po Kung Fu, because he isn’t like the other students he has taught. Po has different motivations and physical abilities and limitations.

Master Shifu learns how to motivate and teach Po when he finds him in the kitchen eating all the food. He then uses what is different and special about Po to teach him Kung Fu.

That’s something that Mr. Slade does for me, he helps me learn about myself and how I can learn to be a better leader, husband, father, brother and friend.

Mr. Slade then helps me to learn about other people and how to work with them. How to connect with them and teach them leadership! It is very exciting to help another person and see them develop and grow!!

It is very important to Mr. Woodward that more leaders and entrepreneurs are found, created, and grown! As it's important to Mr. Woodward, it’s important to Mr. Slade and myself.

Now, you may be asking, why this is important to Mr. Woodward? It is important to him because he is a major believer in freedom and liberty. When we grow ourselves into better people and better leaders, we increase our circle of influence. When our circle of influence increases, we help many more people grow into better versions of themselves. Into better leaders and those leaders start to have a larger impact as they venture into business as entrepreneurs.

This ripple effect then impacts a community, county, state, and country. When the level of leadership and entrepreneurs rise then so does the freedom of that country.

As the story of Po goes, we learn that he becomes the Dragon Warrior and gets the Dragon Scroll. At this point, he is confused because the scroll is very blank reflective gold, and he sees himself in the scroll but no words of wisdom.

As the events unfold, he is talking to his dad, the goose. Mr. Ping tells Po the secret ingredient to his famous Secret Ingredient Soup. That secret is that there is no secret ingredient. It is the belief of the person eating the soup that it is special that makes the soup special.

Po then realizes that the Dragon Scroll showed Po that he is special because he has the secret to greatness within himself. He was the one picked by Master Oogway. As you may remember, he goes back to the Jade Palace to fight the bad guy, Tai Lung. Tai Lung was a very bad snow leopard that defeated the Furious Five.

Po believed that Master Oogway and Master Shifu were correct that there was something about Po that made him special. Po took that belief and used it along with his knowledge of Kung Fu and defeated Tai Lung. It has to be one of the funniest fights in all of movie history!!

You are just like Po!! I am just like Po!! We all have special things about us that make us unique and capable of doing something amazing in our lives!

At this point, I made the choice to tell the kids that they are special and unique. They have special talents and abilities! I hoped that my story about Po and his belief that he was special would help them understand that they are too!!

This is my belief, there are many hundreds and even thousands of people that have been given the special talents and abilities to be leaders and to shape the world by their positive and principled example.

Along with Mr. Woodward and Mr. Slade, I am on a mission to discover and help individuals become leaders and examples in their communities. I made it my mission that we can create a better world. We do this by building leaders that build businesses that positively impact their communities.

Those who are looking for their calling in life … this is your invitation to discover if you have it in you to become a major influencer for good! Please check out my website and see if what I am doing interests you. If so, book a free appointment and let's discover what makes you amazing and special!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Wil Becker, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Wil is a serial entrepreneur with several businesses under his belt. He has served in several leadership roles over the last 25 years as a Youth Pastor and Congregational Leader. He has also served with the Boy & Cub Scouts organizations as a leader. He has moved up in his profession because of his leadership skills and his consistent self-education. Wil seeks out the best books and mentors to learn from. His desire to help others got him to start Turning Leaf Solutions and open the doors to his coaching business! He is excited to help you become your best self!!



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