What John Wick Teaches Us About Professionalism

Having retired from his profession, John Wick is drawn back into the world of assassins when his wife passes away and his dog is brutally murdered by a Russian thug. From there, John’s world goes from normal to deadly.  Though the movie does contain lots of vulgarity, they will also discover plenty of lessons in John Wick. 

Be More Professional

Bloodied and beaten, John Wick took his final step. As he was about to close his eyes for a final time, he was rescued by a man on camelback. He was then taken to a canopy where there was a hot bath and a new black suit awaiting him.

In other words — even in our darkest, hottest moments its important to dress well.  All the main characters in the film look so glossy and are so deliberate in their movements. Their style and behavior reminds me of the quote,

“How you do the little things is how you do everything.”


Being Great at something

“Whoever comes, whoever it is… I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.” — John Wick

I don’t have any interest in becoming great at Kung Fu, but watching someone be great at something inspires me to want to be better at the things I care about, such as designing and writing.  Of course, determination and consistency is key to success.

In Case of Emergency

When we’re young we don’t have as much of a safety net for when things go wrong, but as we get older we start building up our cache of guns (metaphorically speaking, of course ;).

It’s smart to build up a cache of tools: duct tape, locks, pepper spray, financial diversification, backup credit cards, etc.  Better to have multiple-lines of defense for when the inevitable storm comes.

"Always have a back up plan."

Know the language of business:

After killing the home invaders, John called Charlie’s (David Patrick Kelly) cleaning crew. He asked Charlie for a dinner reservation for 12. This was code for 12 bodies needed to be disposed of.  Do you know the language of the business you’re working in? You need to if you desire to be successful.  Great business people know how to use the language of other leaders. They communicate with words only other leaders will understand and communicate with.

"Learn the language. Then speak the language."

Breaking the rules has consequences:

There was another assassin that made various appearances throughout John Wick. Her name was Ms. Perkins (Adrianne Palicki).  She accepted instructions to try to kill John Wick while he was staying in the Continental Hotel. This was a major no-no as the hotel was a safe zone.  At the end of John Wick, you see Winston bringing Ms. Perkins out and having multiple people shoot her.  Her breaking the rules had consequences.

You have to be careful about the rules you break. Some rules have major consequences. Others have minor or no repercussions.  Breaking the rules will have a consequence. You have to be willing to face the consequences of the rules you break.


What John Wick Teaches Us About Professionalism
James Wong
23 January, 2021
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