Unlike the popular opinion held by adults (and by adults I mean mostly my parents), Harry Potter is not just a children’s fantasy book. Just like we gradually grow older and more mature, the need for money changes from buying popsicles to buying a house or a car; similarly, the books start making more sense and become more relatable when reading at different phases of our lives.
When we were younger, it just meant the triumph of good over evil but now I realized it also highlights important social aspects like children becoming orphans because of adults fighting wars, or an oppressive government taking away free speech of the media. As a matter of fact, if we dwell deeper into the pages, the series highlights certain important managerial skills as well.
Diversity and Inclusion
The wizarding world has all kinds of people who are looked down upon. There are Squibs, Giants and Werewolves, shunned from society because of the stereotypes attached to their race. Squibs couldn’t perform magic; werewolves and giants were considered as dangerous creatures. Dumbledore made sure that in his school, everybody got a fair chance in spite of their backgrounds. He believed that “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
He took in Hagrid, Lupin, and Filch and gave them jobs when everybody out there refused to hire them. This gives us an important lesson on inclusion. Be it the LGBTQ community or differently abled employees, if a candidate shows adequate skills and potential, he/she deserves a fair chance. So don’t get deceived by the appearances and welcome every candidate with open arms.
Respect Your Juniors - You Will Need Them
Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, once said, “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
Dobby, the house-elf, was always mistreated by his previous masters, the Malfoys, whereas he was shown love and care by Harry and his friends. At the time of need, Dobby was the most loyal friend of the Golden Trio. Kreacher, another house-elf, belonging to the Black family, was treated with contempt by Sirius, so when the time came, he betrayed him, which eventually led to his death.
On the contrary, Kreacher was extremely devoted to Regulus Black, Sirius’ brother, and agreed to avenge his death at once. Similarly, in the office, you will always need your subordinates’ support to meet deadlines, deliver exemplary work and spread good vibes.
It is critical, therefore, to treat them with the respect that they deserve and build some long-lasting relationships.
The series introduces us to many different kinds of leaders and gives a fair idea of what works and what doesn’t. There is the ex-Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, the ignorant one, who refused to see the reality and lived in his blissfully ignorant world. He refused to take steps to stop Voldemort’s torment and rather cared more for his title and position.
The result – He had to step down.
Then we have the oppressor, Dolores Umbridge who was appointed by the Ministry of Magic at Hogwarts school as the new headmistress. She was adamant on imposing her rules and had little respect for others. She ended up being dragged by the centaurs into the Forbidden Forest. These characters teach us what not to do. One cannot just go around dictating lives of the employees like Umbridge or turn a blind eye towards all the mistakes they make.
A leader should be like Minerva McGonagall, head of Gryffindor. She genuinely loved and cared for her students but when the time came, she did not back away from showing tough love. This not only ensured that most of her students turned out to be made of grit and integrity but she also garnered respect from each one of them.
Guide your team, show them the way, help them when they need you and you have sowed the seeds for highly productive, engaged and inspired employees."We all have both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on."
These are few of the many life lessons the series teaches us. Management is a universal topic and every book has something to teach. As the wise old Hogwarts Headmaster once said, “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
You may also be interested in reading - How Characters From Harry Potter Taught Me Leadership - A Three Part Series