11 Motivation Lessons from "World War Z"

I am sitting here in the work cafeteria eating a late dinner and about to work on my next design project and the movie "World War Z" is on. Of course I get sucked in a bit and immediately this post came to me. So here we go. Use it how you will and I am sorry for those who have not seen the movie. There are points I make that give away some major plot points. BUT you still have to watch it! It was something to see and experience. Major SPOILER alert.  I have watched this movie at least 10 times and it hits me in the gut every time. Just thinking as a mother of three under the age of 6, what would I do in that situation . I mean they make it seem like it could really happen and that fast. So eye opening.

Anyway, back to business:

Lesson #1: Knowledge is not Enough

Initially, everyone was putting their faith in the knowledge of scientist to figure it out, but it takes a seasoned investigator who has to pull on his previous experiences, knowledge and instincts to get him through. Resourcefulness, Instincts. As soon as that first moment and the truck hits the police officer, Jerry (Brad Pitt) springs into action and never stops until the end. INTENSE. It's beyond survival of the fittest it is also survival of the person with whit. The most determined and most resourceful. Duck tape (check), magazines (check), a gun and a kitchen knife (check), do whatever it takes to get my family out of this apartment alive (Check). Jerry pulled a McGyver and used the magazines for arm and shin guards and taped the knife to the end of the gun and fought like crazy to get his family to safety.

The Takeaway: What do you have around you and how can you use what you have to get the results you need? Draw on your experience. 

Lesson #2: Shed A Little Humor on a Bleak Situation

When the Military Captain in Korea made the joke to turn off your cell phones while they were being attacked slightly lightened the moment.

Take Away - Try to find something positive or funny to diffuse situations when you can.

Lesson #3: Partner Collaborations Matter

Another great scene is when they are in the apartment complex and the wife asks, "How do we know they are coming for us." and Jerry says without a doubt "There Coming." that is trust in someone that he established a relationship with for years. And the impact of new relationships with people (the young boy he met at the apartment complex, he must have inspired because that little boy fought his way out when his father and mother were killed and his father turned zombie tried to kill them all. He also had to rely on the kindness of others and take a chance with trusting complete strangers out of necessity.

Take Away: partners both new and old are essential to your success. Cultivate those relationships whenever you can. Seek them out if you don't have them.


Lesson #4: Relationships Matter

Your close circle. Another relationship worth mentioning is Jerry's Wife and how he kept in touch with her the entire time and that was his touch point to humanity and his driving force.

Take Away: Don't lose sight of those important relationships in your life (family, friends, etc. ) Find time to be with them even as you drive forward. Like right now it is 12 a.m. I am working, I am away from my family but I have to get things done. (I went home, hugged the kids and my husband, and then headed back to the office for an all-nighter knowing I would be home early the next day. )

Lesson #5 Picking your Team:

Everyone on the Navy Carrier serves a purpose the general says, they had no room for stragglers or "non-essential personnel". IT was lean and they had to keep it that way to get things done. (how to handle team and pick your team.  - they need to be talented in what they do. "Do you boo-boo do you!" If everyone does what they are great at, the world would run so much more smoother. Picking the right person and staying to your strength is very important. The young scientist that was supposed to figure it all out was given a gun and at the fist sign of danger and Zombies he runs and shoots himself because he slips.

Takeaway: Know your strength and hold your ground. Face your problems instead of running away from them.

Lesson #6 Eliminate Distractions:

Let's talk about distractions and how they can lead to your demise if you let them. Flash to the scene they are on bikes trying to quietly get to the plane ( I told you spoiler alert) and Jerry's wife calls him and the phone ringing causes the zombies to wake up and attack. Another intense scene.

Takeaway: It's pretty obvious. Just remove things that are not necessary and anticipate and isolate those things that may cause distraction along the way. 

Lesson #7: Have Laser Focus and Fearless Drive

Then we can't forget the simplicity of the zombies. I mean it is pure nature how they were laser focused on what they wanted (food) and they would throw themselves over buildings and walls to go after a target with no care of danger to themselves. Almost a complete recklessness that sometimes was successful and other times just epic failure.

Takeaway: Don't give up even when it seems impossible. 

Lesson #8: Be Ready to Adjust and Act Even when Others mess things up.

In the movie, the fall of Israel was due to harmless actions of those not having all of the facts and they were just expressing themselves. Cost the city. Jerry knew but it was out of his control. Had to adjust and rely on the military and his resourcefulness again to get out. And again on the plane…..

Take Away: Make the tough decisions and re-adjust your plans accordingly. Things happen no matter how much you prepare. You can't rest too long, gotta keep moving. Sometimes those tough decisions are painful physically, emotionally, etc for you and or for those around you.

Lesson #9: Take a Chance 

Looking at  the part where Brad Pit injects himself with a deadly virus on a hunch and then subjects himself to the zombies is a perfect example of businesses believing in something and taking action and stepping out on faith to support it. Sometimes you have to gamble on an idea (but make an educated guess based on the facts, your instincts, and as much research as you can come up with.)An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

The Takeaway: The best statement all movie is "Movement Is Life" is that not the truth. My husband and I use this all the time with the kids to get them going in the morning.

Lesson 10: Take Action for what you believe

Once Jerry figured out a possible solution he immediately had to rely on connections to put his plan in action not 100% sure it would work. He also had to face serious, life threatening adversity to see his plan played out. Not to mention he had to convince complete strangers to believe him and also help him. That takes some serious belief in what you are doing. An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Take Away: Don't stop taking actions (no matter how minuscule they are, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.) Occasionally take some major jumps and strides.

Lesson #11: Savor the Success

An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Takeaway is obvious on this one. Seize the moment. Appreciate the win, but keep on moving on to the next thing.

What Makes You Resilient?

Have you ever just gotten in the car and started driving with the intention to do something, but you wind up driving around aimlessly? Achieving nothing. This happens to me sometimes when I have so many things on my mind, from family, to businesses, to ministry work, to LIFE. Oh the many things that come up in a day. My kids and I were walking around in Target the other day supposedly going in to get coloring books. We looked at tablets, movies, toys, clothes. LOL! An hour later we almost left without the coloring books. My 5 year old son said “why do we keep getting distracted?” LOL.


All of these examples, the car, wandering in Target, are what happens to business owners when they start their business without a vision and a plan. I know some people get started and just jump right in and start swimming. Which will get you results and sometimes favorable, but more likely you will hit a major snag in your progress. For many it is a cumbersome and laborious task to put together a plan to support your vision. And a lot of people wanting to start a project or a business don’t even take the time to write down the why and the details of the what.  It doesn’t have to be that painful of a process. Really it is just a matter of having the ideas and the general knowledge of where you want to go in the next year, 5 years, 10 years and beyond.  This can only come from YOU! It is your baby, your vision, your passion, and ultimately up to you to drive and make it happen. But the WHY is the most important piece to all of this because the why will get you through all of those hard days that are ahead. The “why” gets you through the great successes to keep you grounded. 

What does that mean for you? Take some time this week to sit down and write out your dreams for your business, your project, whatever journey you are on. What is your WHY? Then think about all of the things you know you will need to make that happen. Do some research and see who else is doing it or what is missing. Figure out how much all of this would cost to make happen for the first year, 5th year, and beyond and then consider who else you could add to your ecosystem as partners to make this happen more efficiently and create that triple value effect for you, your customers, and your customer’s customer.

Now take all of that information and you have your outline for a proper business plan – roughly (missing the marketing aspect and a few other financial pieces) but this gives you the start to not drive around aimlessly, and if you need a formal one done, you can pass this info on to someone that can run with it and give you a polished plan!

KLH Consulting can help if you want to schedule a Strategic Design Session or go to one of your local Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, or the Small Business Administration for business plan support.

Here’s to grinding out your daily dream!

Resilience & Authenticity

What does it take to lead your life, your business, others? Resilience and authenticity. I was reading in Harvard Business Reviews July 2016 issue talking about characteristics of a great leader, “…having faced setbacks, made errors, run a-drift, yet lived to fight another day!” This resonated with me so much. I feel like it is exactly where I have been on this journey. I am still learning every day, and if I wasn’t I would be scared! I have realized over and over again that you have to be uniquely you and follow your gut.


The times I have veered off the path were times I listened to the voices around me, (all well-meaning) but not understanding my passion and purpose for what I am doing. I know I am running a woman owned small business, but I really believe in the tag line I have used for my business since 2008, KLH Consulting provides “INSPIRATION, SERVICE & SUPPORT”. I always want to be in the business of helping people achieve what they are trying to achieve. So when I do my pricing and I make it reasonable some people think I should charge more. The times I went against my gut and did that, I scared away clients. And I know, this is business and there is a thinking that they weren’t serious if they weren’t willing to pay. I totally get that, and I am not underestimating my value. However, I do not want to lose my authenticity by chasing after money. (I am a for-profit business so YES I need to make money).


My Point is, money should not be the root of why I do business. It always should circle around to meeting a need, providing service, and bettering my community.  I work hard to stay true to this and I am still stumbling here and there, but I just wanted to share this morning because it has been a rough couple of months for my business and it is easy to get disheartened. But I am here to say, I am not giving up, failure is not an option, and as long as God gives me another day to live and breathe I can keep going.


So for anyone reading this and feeling overwhelmed, underwhelmed, un-inspired, off the path, take a moment and think about this:

Go back to the beginning – Write down (in your journal – or a piece of paper) why did you start on this journey? And what do you love about it? What excited you to start in the first place. 

Visibility - Making a Statement

So how many times have you gone to a conference or a meeting or a networking event and you do the ritual of passing out business cards, and collateral and they all look the same (different logo of course) but nothing stands out. When I was a Small Business Advocate at Lockheed Martin, I would represent the company during Small Business Panel discussions and then do SB speed-dating for vendor outreach. Well, in just one session I would leave the event with a bag full of business cards, flyers, and even folders filled with the same dry standard information. Sigh! The average advocate or individual engaging small businesses or any business owner, they would look at it briefly and then put them in a pile with the rest of the mediocre (but probably really good companies). When you see over 50 a day sometimes, your eyes get blurry and everyone starts to sound and look the same on paper. Unless you have something that really stands out, by the time we would get to our desks you are forgotten. Notes sometimes help, but it all looks the same. At Lockheed, we worked on building a database that we entered business information in to reduce the loss of good small businesses. SBs could enter their own information that went beyond a NAICS code. Now they have incorporated these elements into their marketing tool on thewww.lockheedmartin.com website. 

What matters more than anything is having great services and products that provide value for your customers. How that value gets communicated rests on your selling techniques & the tools you use to leave an impression. You want to delight your customers, educate them on why you, and give them the way to access you. If you pull all those elements together and then have the visual collateral to communicate those messages clearly and vividly, you will not only be visible, but you will be resilient. Don't fill your materials with fluff! Be efficient and tell people what they really need to know with great graphics!


You are a personal billboard for your business. Consider yourself as a brand ambassador. Every time you walk out the door you should be ready to represent the mission, vision and value your business brings to the table. Brand consistency is critical to demonstrating a cohesive message. There are so many great examples of branding that make a huge difference in the perception of a business. I recommend seeking help with marketing and branding specialists that can help you figure out your brand identity and make a complete difference in your billboard. 

If you are looking for complete packaged solutions for your marketing check out our Product Solutions.


Schedule Strategic Design Sessions

So many possibilities can come out of a strategic design session. It is really up to you and what you want to achieve as an individual, Solopreneur , small business or mid-size business owner. You can use your sessions to build amazing plans and strategies to implement over the days, weeks, months ahead. Create a marketing plan, or an opportunity worksheet to determine the right opportunities to pursue for your business. Having trouble finding what you do best? Use the strategic session to work on discovering your Niche and your target audience, Whatever you need, I am here to help make you valuable, visible, and resilient through inspiration, service, and support. 

Click here to schedule an initial free consultation.