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  • Writer's pictureBlue Bull Recruitment

What lessons can we learn from the film The Greatest Showman?

In the dazzling spectacle of 'The Greatest Showman,' starring Hugh Jackman, we're treated to a stunning display of not just music, singing, drama and dance, but also valuable lessons in recruitment, staff retention, and the importance of staying true to one's values.

As we dive into the world of P.T. Barnum's circus, we uncover insights that resonate deeply in the realm of business and leadership.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

One of the most compelling aspects of the movie is how P.T. Barnum sees potential and beauty in individuals whom society has marginalised.

Despite facing exclusion and ridicule, he recruits people from all walks of life, showcasing a diverse cast of performers who become a family. This underscores the importance of embracing diversity in the workplace, recognising the unique talents and contributions of every individual, regardless of background or appearance.

Recruitment Beyond Traditional Norms

P.T. Barnum's recruitment strategy goes beyond conventional methods.

He doesn't just hire based on skill or experience; he looks for passion, charisma, and the ability to captivate an audience.

This highlights the importance of looking beyond resumes and qualifications when recruiting, focusing instead on qualities that align with the company's values and vision.

The Pitfalls of Greed and Neglecting Staff

As P.T. Barnum's circus gains popularity, he becomes consumed by his ambition, neglecting the very people who helped him build his empire.

His decision to prioritise profit over loyalty leads to the departure of his loyal performers, causing rifts within the circus family and his own family.

This serves as a caution for business owners, reminding them not to let greed overshadow the importance of valuing and retaining their staff.

The Power of Visibility and Accessibility

As he rises to fame, P.T. Barnum slowly loses sight of the importance of being accessible and visible to his staff.

He slowly becomes less involved in the day-to-day operations of the circus, and brings Philip Carlisle (played by Zac Efron) in to the fold to support him.

Philip tries his best to foster a sense of camaraderie and unity among the performers but with PT Barnum's absence they feel forgotten and shunned.

Luckily he realises his mistakes in a fabulous scene in the bar, gaining the support of his staff once again (ensuing one of my favourite songs "From Now On")

This highlights the significance of leadership presence and engagement in maintaining employee morale and loyalty.

Learning from Mistakes and Prioritising Family

One of P.T. Barnum's biggest mistakes is prioritising the allure of a glamorous act over the well-being of his loyal performers.

This decision not only hurts his business but also strains his relationships with his circus family.

It serves as a reminder to business owners to prioritise family and relationships above all else, as they are the true foundation of success.


'The Greatest Showman' isn't just a musical extravaganza; it's a treasure trove of recruitment and retention lessons for businesses and leaders.

From embracing diversity and valuing individual talents to prioritising loyalty over greed and staying accessible to your staff, the movie offers valuable insights that resonate in today's corporate landscape.

As we marvel at the spectacle on screen, let's not forget to remember the invaluable lessons that lie beneath the glitz and glamour.

After all, true greatness is measured not by wealth or fame, but by the strength of the bonds we forge and the values we uphold.

I feel I must end this edition with the same fitting quote that the movie ends on;

"The noblest art is that of making others happy" - P.T. Barnum

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