What Sleeping Beauty Teach us About Leadership

By | July 11, 2022

[July 11, 2022]  Ancient tales can teach us much about ourselves and propel our puny understanding of the world to a higher level.  The tale of Sleeping Beauty, popularized in the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty (1959), is one such story that can teach us something about leadership.

There is an evil element in our world populated by humans who would harm us.  This is a feature of humanity that transcends our philosophical wonderings.  This explains the attraction we have for these tales of long ago, those that manifest evil in their characters, as in Sleeping Beauty (the Evil Queen), One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Cruella de Vil), Cinderella (Lady Tremaine), and Alice in Wonderland (the Queen of Hearts).

In the movie Sleeping Beauty, the king and queen have long awaited a child.  When she finally arrives in the world, the whole kingdom is excited.  The king and queen plan a great christening party.  But they fail to invite Maleficent, the Evil Queen, to the celebrations.  It is not ignorance that they fail to invite Maleficent, but it is in their desire to protect their baby from worldly evils.

Instead of raising baby Aurora to possess strength and wisdom to prevail, despite the presence of evil and the tragedies of reality, they have kept her naive and vulnerable.  Of course, Maleficent shows up anyway at the celebration.  The message is that you should show leadership and invite evil into your life.  If you fail to do so, those who follow you will be weak and in need of protection.  The Evil Queen is going to show herself regardless of what you do.

At the christening, Maleficent offers a present in the form of a curse; the death of Aurora at age 16, caused by a prick of the spindle of a spinning wheel.  Because of the compassion of her parents, now Aurora’s life is in jeopardy.  Fortunately, a fairy intervenes, and the curse is made only into a state of unconsciousness.

If you want to shelter those who follow you, you destroy them.  If you do not invite Maleficent for short visits, those you lead will not be prepared.  Depriving them of the minor tribulations, tragedies, and maladies of everyday life, weaken their character.  And worse, you have become the very destroying agent, the Evil Queen, that eats away at their personalities.

This happens to those who remain too unawakened when they go out into the world for work.  They do not want to be conscious because they have not developed the courage and ability to face the negative element of the world.  Instead of being encouraged, they have been sheltered.  In addition, that great compassion is what kills their character and destroys their lives.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “What Sleeping Beauty Teach us About Leadership

  1. Frankie Boy

    Another exceptional article from the mind of Gen. Satterfield and one that we all can appreciate. I liked the way he integrated the movie (and ancient story) Sleeping Beauty into the idea that 1) there is real evil out there and 2) that many of us are willfully blind to it.

    1. Oakie from OK

      Yep Frankie, well said. And good points. I too am a big fan of Gen. Satterfield and regularly read his blog posts. It makes for a good start to the day.

  2. Grover in the Grove

    Excellent article. You tweaked my interest, Gen. Satterfield. Keep up the great work you are doing on your leadership website.

  3. ZB22

    Excellent article, Gen. S. and thank you for getting back to your blog so soon. We all missed you and your ability to communicate key, important, ideas for us and make them easier to understand. This article of today is just another example.

  4. mainer

    Welcome Gen. Satterfield and we missed you. Thank you for today’s blog post too. I never really had a good grasp of the movie, altho I enjoyed it. Why I enjoyed it was missing. Now, I have a better idea.

  5. Greg Heyman

    Sleeping Beauty. A great movie. Disney no longer makes these kinds of movies that have an intrinsic and meaningful message. Instead, Disney wants to advance a radical, anti-human agenda that says that “normal” is racist, sexists, and American is built on slavery. All a false narrative so they can pander to radicals in our society like AOC (a communist).

    1. JT Patterson

      Disney went ‘woke.’ Now, let’s help them go broke. Never, ever buy their products or watch their new movies. Never give them a nickel of your money.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        I stopped watching the Disney Channel and wrote my service provider saying they needed to get rid of Disney because they are championing unethical behaivor.

        1. Mark Evans

          I think most of us here can agree, Yusaf. Too many whacko CEOs and presidents of corporations that don’t want to have the radical leftists banging on their door (so to speak) but want to be left alone to do their job. So they go ‘woke.’ Too bad that this strategic is about to backfire on them. And good riddance if they get kicked out of their jobs.

  6. Greg NH

    Welcome back to the fold. I knew Gen. S. was coming back soon. I hope that your time with your family was good for you and for them. Thanks for today’s post as well.

  7. Frank Graham

    Wonderful to have you back on-line, Gen. Satterfield. We missed you.

    1. Army Captain

      👍👍👍👍👍 YES! Good to have Gen. Satterfield back.


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