Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson — Leadership Style & Life lessons
Today, I’m going to talk about the leadership style and life lessons of this highly successful person. The life story of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is inspiring and there are numerous life lessons to learn from his experience. Coming from nothing, he went from playing college football at the University of Miami, to being the premier wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment, to becoming the highest-grossing actor of 2013.
I’m going to tell you the story about Dwayne Johnson, but it’s not about his global successes as a WWE legend and Hollywood’s most bankable star.
It’s a story of Dwayne Johnson’s formative years, and some of the lessons he learned during them, many in dusty gyms across the country. He learned everything by way of iron and sweat and his holiest of grails: hard work. Because, as he will tell you himself, it’s these very things that have made him the man he is today.
His determination, and his overall attitude easily explain why he is the most bankable movie star of our time. Even his philosophy on leadership is inspiring.
Often, life doesn’t go quite as planned. Dwayne Johnson set his sights on becoming an NFL star, but his world came crashing down around him. He could have stayed depressed and wallowed in self-pity, but instead he looked towards other opportunities and went after them, come what may.
Consistently ranked among the world’s highest-paid actors, Dwayne Johnson made the Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2016 and 2019.
Not many people can carry themselves with the kind of charisma that The Rock has, and to be honest no one ever will. He’s one of a kind and if you were lucky enough to grow up in the era in which he dominated airwaves, then you know exactly what he’s cooking.
Here are great life lessons from The Rock that will inspire you to achieve your dreams.
People like Dwayne Johnson inspires us every day. They bring speed to our lives. But, we often ponder how did he manage to become what he is now? How did he achieve such pioneering successes in life? What is the secret behind his success? The secret lies in his attitude and looks towards life. Here are a few lessons to help you learn from a celebrity superstar like Mr. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Lesson #1: Work Hard, Play Hard
Not only does he have a packed schedule most days, he gets up at 3.00 a.m. in order to get a full workout done even before his day begins. And as a proud family man, he makes sure to spend plenty of time with his loved ones, too.
Whatever you’re working on, you should always be the hardest worker in the room.
We all have 24 hours in a day — how you prioritize and make use of those hours will determine how likely you are to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Are you genuinely yearning to reach the next level, or are you simply paying lip-service to the idea? If you don’t work hard to keep your edge, the next person is always right behind you.
Greatness is all about consistency and consistency breeds greatness. But if you’re really out there in the trenches, then you better have the battle scars to prove it.
The Rock knows too many jabronis out there who were trying to take his spot, but until they proved it to him, no respect was given. The measure of a man can be counted by how many times he falls, gets back up and keeps persisting. Nothing’s going to be given to you in this life, and just like The Rock, you have to be the one who takes it. Once you reach that level of greatness, nobody will be able to deny you.
When you are an actor, producer, businessman, retired professional wrestler, only hard work could put up with this and attain success in all.
There is no substitute for hard work as one has to be hungry (for success in this case) and humble. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious about your goals. Hard work never stops. Neither should your dreams. Nothing comes easy, but one can overcome so much through hard work and focus.
One can never really get to an awesome pinnacle in any chosen career without sheer determination and hard work!
Never half-ass your work. If it’s worth doing, do it right and see it through every single time. Your work is like your batting average and you never want to give less than 110 percent. Your work ethic will push and inspire many to get on their grind.
Lesson #2: Promote Yourself
Humbleness is nice…to a point. There comes a time when we cannot rely on others to notice how great we are. Dwayne is constantly promoting his work and himself to his 56 million social media followers. He shares video clips, pictures, and everyday musings.
You can be the most talented person out there, but if you don’t let the masses know, there are plenty of other people out there waiting to grab their attention.
Humility has its place, and we certainly shouldn’t oversell who we are or what we do. On the other hand, radio silence is deadly in today’s digital world where content is king, and presence is everything. Dwayne Johnson’s hundreds of millions of online followers are constantly informed of what he is up to, and film producers love the lengths he goes to in order to promote his movies.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Dwayne Johnson screams confidence. His public speaking abilities are legendary, and one of the big reasons he was so popular in professional wrestling. When one becomes so confident in who they are, nobody’s opinion, behavior or rejection would faze them. To become successful, confidence in oneself and ability must be top notch.
Self-promotion is not bragging; it’s about providing a personal connection so others can relate to you and understand your mindset.
It also gives you a platform to control your image. When everything’s great, you can let others know. When you make a mistake, you can disarm attackers with self-deprecation or take preemptive measures.
One key to the growth of The Rock’s professional brand is his choice of partnerships, like VOSS water and Under Armour.
As an athlete, these are natural bridges — they’re authentic and true to his passions. Another major contributor to Dwayne Johnson’s success is the consistency of producing great content. He rivals even the best brands in how frequently he pumps out compelling Instagram content.
Lesson #3: Have a Clear Vision
Dwayne Johnson didn’t have a roadmap to achieve his vision, but he knew what it looked like and he had a brain trust to help figure it out. It’s easy to get lost in details — the how’s, what-if’s, and but what about’s. Sometimes we just need to imagine the future without feeling limited by particulars. We can save the logistics for the team.
He left the wrestling world and wanted to make it as a movie star. He started out decently with the movie Scorpion King, but did not make much of an impression in his few following movies.
Instead of blaming others for his failure, he called for a meeting with the various stakeholders managing him. He started the meeting by outlining his end goal. His vision was clear, “I want to be Will Smith, only bigger and different. I don’t know what that means but I can see it!” With that clarity, everyone around him rallied to make his dream a reality.
Life is full of opportunities to climb up the ladder and get better, but it’s just all a matter of seizing that moment and taking control.
Nice guys finish last, and while The Rock is one of the nicest guys around, he has a mean streak to him too that’ll make you feel like a real roody-poo. He took every opportunity presented to him and laid the smack down, but anyone knows that the biggest regrets are the chances you never take. Kick that door open and make opportunity your bitch.
Successful people set goals and they develop and maintain the habits necessary to achieve them. Goals and habits are the two main variables in the success equation.
While goals provide you with a sense of direction and help you focus, effective habits give you the mental discipline to reach your goals. If either variable is missing, the success equation simply doesn’t add up. Conversely, when you improve your goal setting skills and form good habits, success levels soar.
Having a well thought-out vision for your life is a critical component for aiding you towards achieving your dreams, aspirations and what fulfills you.
A clear vision points you to exactly what you want to be in life. Knowing your destination will keep you traveling on the right road, even if you go off track or get lost you will be able to reset and get back on track. In the absence of a clear destination one simply wanders about and is blown by the wind from one point to another.
Lesson #4: Keep Calm
One of the most interesting insights I have encountered about great leaders is that they are constantly calm regardless of the hurdles encountered. Most film directors who work with Johnson love him for his calmness and ability to be pushed hard.
When we get upset about issues, we should not sulk, instead, like Dwayne Johnson, we should shoot for a resolution.
Resolving issues quickly and in a practical manner is what great leaders do seamlessly. If we want to become a great leader, we need to learn to be calm and quick in resolving all conflicts and issues. As an athlete, Dwayne Johnson understands being pushed very hard and never gets annoyed or upset with reshoots or mistakes on set.
The demanding situations and crises you face over the course of your career are likely to be the moments that define who you are as a leader.
How you act in these scenarios can impact how your employees and co-workers remember you. When leaders break down, so can their teams, resulting in hindered performance and lower morale. This can cause your employees to miss deadlines, make mistakes, and potentially lose customers — the exact opposite of what you need during times of crisis.
Leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace.
With the change management requirements, increased marketplace demands and intensifying competitive factors that surround us, leaders must have greater poise, agility and patience to minimize the impact of uncertainty. How leaders respond to these and other growing pressures is an indicator of their leadership preparedness, maturity and acumen.
Don’t become paralyzed if you find yourself messing up. If you ever fly off the handle, apologize and commit to doing better in the future.
There’s really no quick and easy way to learn this lesson. When you see a leader who is cool, calm, and collected, it’s probably because they’re a veteran of the situation. If they’re easy to admire in the present, they probably went through some ups and downs which forced them to grow into the leader they are today.
Lesson #5: Go Back to Basics
When Dwayne Johnson was 23, he made a decision to leave the game of football and follow his father’s footsteps in pro wrestling. But while his storied lineage almost guaranteed him a path to the top, he was never given any handouts in his career, only his God-given ability.
In 1995 The Rock had $7 bucks in his pocket and knew two things: He was broke as hell and one day he won’t be.
The Rock started out as a broke entertainer, was forced to reinvent his character in the ring, kept on persisting through the hate and the man smack talked his way to the top. Once you have that focus and drive in whatever you’re doing from the beginning, the only thing stopping you from getting it is yourself.
When you have doubts on your skills, skip back to basic and start over again.
Dwayne received a sweet scholarship at the University of Miami. Little did he know that he will find himself ending up with a broken shoulder. At the age of 18, Dwayne wanted to step down because he wasn’t ready for it. Eventually, by working hard and staying determined to win, he became the academic captain, and by his junior year, he was preseason All-America on a couple of lists. He did what had to be done.
He knew that if he were to lose his scholarship he’d be out of school: His parents simply couldn’t afford to pay his tuition.
And so, he made the decision to travel the hard road once more. By this point it was well-worn. He didn’t need directions. He would simply call upon the same principles that powered him through his most grueling training sessions: focus, persistence, and of course, lots of hard work.
Success cannot be achieved in one attempt.
Success is a life-long race one day cannot make a large difference from one to the competition. The Rock has faced many problems on his way to success, family problems, recovering from injury, lost matches, but still carved his way to success which is truly heartwarming.
Lesson #6: Give Back
The Rock is a giving man. In 2006, Johnson founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity working with at-risk and terminally ill children. On October 2, 2007, he and his ex-wife donated $1 million to the University of Miami to support the renovation of its football facilities.
Behind every rockstar is a rockstar, someone who helped lift them up.
There are many people that you can rely on. Maybe it’s a friend who can be a great comfort during tough times. Look around you, there are people everywhere! And believe me, if you reach out for help, there are plenty of people who will. And you can always give them something back too!
You have to be a listener and give people what they want when they need help or attention.
Dwayne Johnson really listens and this helped him build not only his wrestling career but also his business career. He gains significant business acumen by listening. Great leaders always know more — and this is achieved by listening to everything around them and then making great decisions. Are you listening enough to the ‘buzz’ around you?
The reason why people are willing to share knowledge with The Rock is because he is really nice, and most importantly, he is sincerely interested in the people he interacts with.
Imagine if you displayed a tenth of Dwayne Johnson’s energy. Maybe your conversations aren’t long enough to repeat a spouse’s name 17 times. You can still show interest in what others are saying. It doesn’t take any additional time to say, “Good morning” and actually mean it. And it only takes a minimal amount of extra effort to exhibit that you care about your staff as people and not just as resources.
You don’t have to give millions in charity to give back to the world. Just make any contribution that you think will make the world a better place and you will have done your job.
The act of giving or the act of kindness can help an individual to gain (or regain) a sense of purpose in life. Just as success becomes easier to achieve when we build on the motivation to overcome obstacles and persevere in face of setbacks. At the end of the day, the chance to give back to our communities may be one of the most rewarding aspects of a life well-lived.
Lesson #7: Your Surroundings Matter
In an interview Dwayne was asked what helped him have success transitioning from wrestling into acting. He said what’s helped him is that he realized that he had potential but he needed and wanted to be around great directors, and great actors to bring out the best in him.
There is no way we can put a value on people who truly care enough about us to push you to be better in every way.
Be strategic with who you work with. If the ones you are around the most aren’t challenging you to go farther and to get out of your comfort zone then what good is that? We need people who call out our passions and who convict us to go further in what we are good at.
You attract what you are, become a person that challenges people to be great.
We would go further to say that to have those kind of people around you who will push you, you first need to be someone who cares enough to want people to be the best version of themselves. Shoot for quality and quantity. In order to reach new levels of awesomeness, you have to push yourself.
Everyone needs people who accentuate our passion and further convict us to go further in our dreams.
Life is hard enough — we don’t always win, and there will always be obstacles and naysayers along our path to success. During those times, nothing feels better than having someone you can share your fears and doubts with: friends and mentors that not only listen, but also cheer you on to be the best you can be.
Find and focus on relationships with those who can share their wins and positive vibes and help you realize that you can do the same. Life is too short for the negativity.
We are the product of our surroundings and the people we interact with on a daily basis. Subconsciously, we think and act in a similar way to the people we most spend our time with. Thus, it is important to be selective and choose people you wish to be surrounded by.
Hard work that truly produces results isn’t easy, but it’s one reality you must bring yourself into if you want to achieve your dreams with flying colors! You’ve just to start by dominating your environment positively.
Can you smell what The Rock is cook? It’s called success and it does not happen by itself.
Its not about early morning workouts or blockbuster movies. To emulate his success is to be forward-focused. It is maintaining a positive, can will-do attitude. And it is spreading this attitude to everyone you come into contact with. It will involve more dynamism, but it’ll create even more.
His life is the ultimate example of what happens eventually when you are the hardest worker in the room, when you believe in yourself and remain humble.
We cannot wish our way to success. Work through the fatigue, self-doubt, and distractions. Focus on your goal and go to bed every night knowing you did something today to get you closer to accomplishing it.
Dwayne’s career didn’t happen by accident. It’s time to reevaluate and push yourself.
We know that having a great work ethic isn’t sexy, and if you haven’t been working as hard this is not the time to beat yourself up. Everyone wants the results that working hard produces, but don’t want to labor to bring their dreams to reality. This is an advantage you can have to dominate your environment.
Take these life lessons to heart. Embed them in your mind, and take action. You’ll be a happier, more successful person if you do. Then, maybe someday, someone will ask you to sign a movie poster.
Nothing in life is given, whatever comes your way, you have to work hard to achieve it, to win it. And once you are able to achieve it, then you reach a higher level of greatness where no one can deny you. Did you find this piece to be inspiring and motivational? Please use the comment box below to share with us your thoughts. Also, do not forget to like and share this post!