Leadership Lessons From FRIENDS – The One with the Prom Video

Today’s Leadership Lessons From FRIENDS blog features guest writer Christie Montoya. Christie is the Customer Experience Manager at GAP. She is also a part of the SOS Leadership Gr8 Women Leaders Program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her 2 year old son, and loving husband. 


When you think about leaders, how would you define them?  Is a leader always someone who is very well known and has many known accomplishments or contributions to their community?  If you ask me, the answer is no.  A leader is someone who takes the time to make a difference in someone else’s life, no matter how big or small the gesture or whether or not it brings them fame. 

Friends has been one of my favorite TV series for years.  Anyone that knows me knows that.  I own every single season and watch episodes when I can.  Over the years, as I have grown up, I have a different perspective watching these episodes as I did in college when I started watching the series from episode 1.  I used to see the show as just funny, but now, I can see that there are many life lessons to be learned from the show, believe it or not.

In the episode, The One with the Prom Video, we learn about how an unknown act means so much even years after it actually happened.  Monica and Rachel were getting ready for their prom.  They were very excited, and Monica’s dad just happened to capture this on video.  Monica’s date showed up, however, Rachel’s date did not.  She was very, very upset, as most high school girls would be if their prom date did not show.  Monica’s parents urged her brother, Ross, to take Rachel to the prom.  Ross has always had a crush on Rachel, so even though he acts like he doesn’t want to do that, he gets ready, and we all know that he is very excited.  As he is coming down the stairs in his dad’s tux, Rachel’s date has arrived.  You can see how crushed Ross is by the look on his face.

Ross never told anyone he did that.  No one knew until the night several years later when he and his friends were all together watching the prom video.  After seeing that, Rachel and Monica both said, “I can’t believe you did that.”  Even years later, his unknown act made a huge impact on Rachel and influenced the relationship between Ross and Rachel.
We all know someone who makes a difference in our lives without demanding attention for it.  We all had a teacher who has inspired us to pursue a dream, try something new, or just become better at something we were struggling with.  We all also have friends and relatives who would do anything for us without asking for anything in return.  Have you told them thank you lately?  And have you thought about what little things that you can do to make a difference in their lives?  A leader does not have to be a very famous doctor, political figure, writer, speaker or a CEO.  A leader is someone who seizes any opportunity to make even the smallest difference in the life of someone else.  We can all be leaders, but we just have to take a few minutes out of our day to answer this question: What can I do to make a difference in someone’s day today?


Please check back with us in two weeks as our “Leadership Lessons from FRIENDS” blog series continues! To view all of the blogs from the Leadership Lessons from FRIENDS series, click here!

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