Top 10 Reflections and Lessons from the Movie Squid Game

I mistakenly joined my friends watching Squid Game in the parlour and the whole scenery caught my attention. Most especially life lessons. These lessons span across leadership, business, politics, friendship, economics, and the workspace. 

Before finding my top 10 lessons below; let me share the context of the game. There are several games until the final one, at the end of each game, people die and if anyone is unable to win or complete the game they also die. As more people die, the more money you get and the more chances of winning the game until the last person. Only one person wins the game and a cash prize of 45 billion after the elimination of all other participants. In the movie, the squid game had 0456 participants. 

Now my top 10 lessons; 

1. Humans can be very greedy and are willing to take any amount of sufferings so that they can just have more. After the first game Green light, Red light, and the death of some participants. People were still willing to stay in the game even if they have a choice to leave. Because the more people die, the more money you make. So people are willing to sacrifice other people's lives to stay in the game. 

2. A friend also mentioned that people have coordination problems. People all agreed to vote to leave the game because of the risk and deaths involved. So when the vote commenced, some people who have agreed decided to vote to stay in the game. It shows how in politics people can change their minds for their selfish reasons, not for the common good. 

3. Poverty is always a weapon used by some powerful people to perpetrate evil. After the vote to end the game, the majority won the vote. So the game ended but people at their will came back to the game because of the money. Some were already in debt they can't repay. Some needed to help their families and, what is the essence if they know one day they had died of poverty. So they went back to the game willingly. It shows how people would say they would not vote for a candidate because they are evil or not competent but would forget all that once they receive a cheque or are given a bag of rice. Poverty has been weaponized

4. Don't over glorify people. There was this guy Ali (199) who saw this other guy as a role model because he is intelligent and has helped him when he needed help. They were both partners in the cause of the game. So there was a game where you choose a partner to play and anyone that loses, will be eliminated (killed). Role Model/Friend turned foes. Ali won the game but trusted the role model and lost. He was killed. Sometimes do not over glorify people, you only know yourself. 

5. In the same game of partners. There was an old man 001 playing against 456 (young man). So this old man and young man have been friends for a while and they trust each other. But the old man had a faked dementia (He forget things). So in the cause of the game, the young man leveraged that and cheated to win not knowing that there was more game to be played to finally win and the decider is with the old man. And time was running up. Once the time is up they would both be killed and the old man reminded him of the cheating and finally allowed him to win. The old man died. A lesson here is that parents would always be parents. No matter how much we offend them, lie to them, they are willing to forgive us and they are willing to die just to make us live. Great lessons there about parents and appreciating them. 

6. They all had a reason to win the game but none was as just as 0456 who wanted to support her mother and care about those they were in the game together. Even if they have to die or kill each other to win the game. He still cared and he won the game. At a point when he was about to kill one of the wicked team members when they were just three in the game. One of the members (Number 067) cautioned him and said you are not that kind of person. That's not who you are. When people truly care and sometimes want to go astray, they are always having people who will guide them through. True winners are sometimes not people who have won the game, they are people who care about the person on the right side and left side of them. 0456 didn't only win the game, he won the heart of people who at every point sacrificed their lives so that he can stay in the game. That's what leadership means, caring! And people would say because he has my back, I would do the same for him too. 

7. In the final game which involves 0456 fighting against his friend/teammates who was considered brilliant. His friend in the slightest chance will kill 0456. However, 0456 had the chance to eliminate his friend but he didn't. Rather he decided to end the game so that they can both live. But his friend killed himself. He could not bear the humiliation. The truth is money can be an ultimate goal but true leaders understand when they have to be there for their team/friend outside external pressure. Simon Sinek said, “the courage to do the right thing in the face of overwhelming pressure only the great leaders have that courage” and the truth some don't really care, they are at any slightest chance willing to bring you down but great leaders understand forgiveness and putting their team first against anything. In the end, 0456 won the prize! 

8. Previous experience at every point in time played a greater role in navigating the game. Though he was killed, a man who has worked in glass manufacturing experience was able to use his experience when they were playing the glass game. The superpower played a greater role in helping other players complete the game. In life, experience is a major form of education and they are always there to navigate a job, work, or interviews. 

9. Constellation- Constellation is when everyone in the team sees themselves as stars. During the tug of war game. The strongest people went to choose each other while they left the weakest people to die. So the old man (001, a member of the weak team) in the team have learned a trick when he was young about the tug of war. So he explained to the team and they arranged each other in such a way that they would win. When they were about to lose, another team member introduce another strategy and they won. They didn't focus on their strength but their strategy and team strength. Great teams are not team filled with strong men, they are a team filled with ordinary people with skills and talents that make them unique. And recognizing those strengths is what makes them stars! Previous experience also played a greater role here. 

10. Character is king. One of the members who entered the game attended the top business school in the country and had the chance of making a lot of money but has been engaged in several frauds. That the police were looking for him. To make more money he entered the game and his life became more miserable. No matter how made you are, with the right character and integrity, you will be successful in your work. The man died in the game because he lacks the character to stay in the game. 

There are many more lessons in the movie and I struggle to come up with these ten as it was hard communicating some parts except you watch the movie. But you will learn a whole lot.

Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2021

Photo Credit: Sky News

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