The cultural phenomenon that is "Harry Potter" came to a brilliant end in July with the release of the last film. I admit being caught in the fray - I read the books, watched all the movies, and took great pleasure in visiting "Harry Potter World" at Universal Islands of Adventure earlier this summer. The fantasy world created by JK Rowling was fun, and it also housed important lessons - even about leadership. As I watched the final installment of the film today, I was struck by the following leadership principles:
1. Leaders can't do it alone - even Harry Potter needed friends and the roles that Ron, Hermione, the members of the Order, and various other individuals played in the ultimate victory were crucial
2. Leaders must be willing to give up themselves for the greater good - the ultimate irony of Harry Potter is that he must die (or at least a part of him must) in order for Voldemort to die
3. Leaders are connected to causes that can outlive them - as Neville so artfully explained when all believed Harry Potter was dead at the hands of Voldemort, "It doesn't matter that Harry's gone. People die every day. Friends, family. Yeah, we still lost Harry tonight. He's still with us, in here (gestures to his chest). Fred, Remus, Tonks... they didn't die in vain."
Minus the whole "able to defeat the dark lord Voldemort" part, how do you match up to the leadership of Harry Potter?