Rappers may reference Scarface in their lyrics, and Wall Street traders may even quote the movie Wall Street while making a sale. But if you’re an entrepreneur there is probably no better motivational movie than John Frankenheimer’s Ronin.
The samurais of feudal Japan are among the most idealized warriors in history. However there is a darker, and more interesting side to noble history of the Samurai, those of master-less subset of Samurai called Ronin. They were the freelancers with swords, and the entrepreneurs with serious grudges of ancient Japan.
There is a legendary story of the 47 Samurai who became Ronin after their Shogun was betrayed and killed by a rival. Left master-lesss in the rigid hierarchy of Edo period Japan, they plotted their revenge for years. They pretended to be vagrants and criminals waiting for the right moment to storm the dishonorable Shogun’s palace and avenge the death of their fallen master.
The legend of the 47 Ronin is coming to movie theaters this December starring Keanu Reeves. However, the 1998 version is still the one to watch. Featuring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno as assassins for hire in post Cold War Europe there are more car chases and plot twists than you can count on your fingers. . It’s a nonstop thriller that plays on the notions of honor and determination.
According to The Code of the Samurai a Samurai was to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) upon the downfall or death of his master. The Ronin did not, they chose to stay alive to fight another day for anyone who was willing to pay them. Some even went on to become famous authors and socialites. Despite massive gun fights in French cities, insane car chases,and betrayal De Niro’s character never lets up
Takeaway: Think C.R.E.A.M and live to fight another day.
As anyone still holding on to shares of RIM knows not every leader stays sharp all of the time. Robert De Niro’s character in Ronin is the typical cool, calm and collected wise guy. But as a spy he’s even more untrustworthy of everyone and everything around him. He’s constantly questioning, but he’s never aggressive.
Takeaway: Be the smartest guy/girl in the room, and if you’re not make sure you have a strategy on how to deal with whoever is.
Robert De Niro and Jene Reno play assassins for hire in the film. They have a mission to complete and they’ll destroy all of southern France if that’s what it takes to accomplish it. There’s But at the end of the day they’re bros and that’s what gets them through the insane plot.
Takeaway: As an entrepreneur there will be times when your character will be tested. Playyour part, but don’t forget who you are.
John Frankenheimer loved cars, and as director he orchestrated a lot of great car chases over the course of his career. Ronin is arguably one of his greatest.
The final chase featuring a BMW M5 being driven the wrong way through Parisian rush hour traffic is among the best ever. Over 300 stunt drivers were employed over the course of filming the movie and 80 cars were destroyed in the process.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to think big.
The plot of Ronin revolves around a rag-tag group of hired guns assembled through a series of common contacts. None of them know each other or have worked together before. Yet, the fast talking Irish man, played by Sean Bean, doesn’t last very long once he’s exposed as a fraud. It only takes one crucial failure to see that he’s not only incompetent, but also a liability to the mission. He gets the axe almost as soon as the movie starts.
Takeaway: Don’t hesitate to cut bad hires from your team. It could mean the difference between meeting your goals, or being another dead in the water business idea. Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh provides more insight on this.