7 Lessons I Learnt from Peaky Blinders

7 Lessons I Learnt from Peaky Blinders

The Peaky Blinders is a British series set in 1919 about a gangster family who runs the city of Birmingham. I completed this series last month and I must admit it was worth every hype. But beyond the fun and intrigue, it brought along, I could not help but note some valuable lessons.

Grab your popcorns as I share 7 lessons I learnt from watching Peaky Blinders!

Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

1. Strategy

One of the most impressive traits of Thomas Shelby in the Peaky Blinders is his ability to plan strategically. He is so good at this that it feels like he can read the moves of his enemies by merely looking at them. As a leader and even in every sphere of life, one must learn to apply strategy. Skills and advantages may not be enough to get the job done without proper strategizing.

Luck only comes to those who are prepared to make the best use of opportunities that come their way.

If you are planning to be a successful leader, you must be able to employ strategy properly. The truth is your followers look up to you and they expect you to come up with ideas and to be steps ahead of others.

2. Vision and focus

Right from the beginning, the anti-hero, Tommy had a vision (goal) to expand and eventually make most of his business legal. And it is remarkable to see him stick to this vision with total focus over the years. In life, it is very important to have a vision. Do you know what is equally important to have? Focus!

A good enough vision is not something that would be achieved in days or months and sometimes even years. This is why focus is needed. Our vision may not always come into fruition as quick as we may want it to but with focus, we’ll be able to stick with it till we succeed.

3. Reputation is gold

Still on Tommy Shelby; one of the reasons why he escaped death multiple times was because he had made a name for himself- a reputation of being part of a gangster organization that dealt ruthlessly in retaliation with people who messed with their family or property. So, rightfully many enemies were scared of attacking him or encroaching on his territory.

The truth is that your reputation matters more than you think. I’ll describe your reputation as a copy of you who is everywhere you are known whether you are physically present or not.

You should be a man or woman of your words. If you say you will do something, try your utmost best to fulfil that promise. One thing that will help you with this is to hold back on that urge to overpromise. This mantra is particularly useful in many situations “Say less but do more”

Another crucial component of your reputation is your actions/character. Don’t be that person who is known to lie, steal, take bribes or be involved in other vices. Unless that is what you want to be known for.

Your reputation matters so much, employ a conscious effort in building and protecting it today.

4. The place of associations

One reason why Tommy Shelby lasted as long as he did was that he had the right people around him. His family especially his brother Arthur were extremely loyal to him. Men like Curly and Johnny Dogs believed in him and would never turn against him.

Likewise, we need to surround ourselves with the proper people. It is worth noting that one of Tommy’s strongest rivals, Luca Changretta almost succeeded in killing him but failed because he surrounded himself with untrustworthy men who were bought over by the Peaky Blinders.

The place of associations in our lives must not be underestimated for they can either make us or mar us. 

Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.

There is another saying- “Birds of a feather flock together”. It is also necessary to be wary of who we associate with. The reputation of others can rub on you.

Another reason why you need associations is that you cannot do everything yourself. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. A good strategy is to have people who can complement you.

For instance, in the show, Tommy had his Brother, Arthur handle the situations needing aggression and Michael do the books of the business. A ticket to failure is not to identify your weaknesses.

Focus on your strengths and delegate the points of weaknesses to others.

5. Your mindset is powerful

The resilient mindset of Tommy in the Peaky Blinders is a factor in his success. The show made me realize that our mindset is a strong weapon that we might have been neglecting.

As a man thinketh in his heart; so is he

We can achieve so much more by overcoming fear, obstacles and challenges. And this starts from the mind! Yes, every battle has to be won first in your mind.

6. Saying no

In the Peaky Blinders, Tommy Shelby is quite notorious for saying no often. If it doesn’t appeal to him, he doesn’t do it.

Many people have a difficult time saying no to things they do not want to do because of what others will think about them. They’ll rather say yes.

If you are not interested in something or you don’t have the time to do it, just say no. Don’t feel bad about this. You should be living your life on your terms and not what people will think about you. I’m not asking you to say no to everything but don’t say yes when what you really want is to say no.

I understand saying no can be difficult many times. Nobody likes to hear no because it hurts. But sometimes, you have to say no because time is precious and you should maximize it.

I once read a book where the author emphasized on “you need to say no more”.

Another thing you should say no to sharing is your plan. Let me explain. I’m not saying you should hide your plans from everybody but it is better to let your results or actions speak for you. If you must share your plan, let it be with people you trust. You don’t want to share your plans with someone who will end up divulging them to the public.

7. Crime doesn’t pay

Despite the many successes of the Peaky Blinders, towards the end of the series, it became obvious for all that a dishonest and criminal life does not pay in the long run. Tommy lost his wife, Grace, his brother John, Aunt Polly and other loved ones because of this. There was no peace of mind for the family too as they constantly had to ward off attacks from people they had hurt in the past and from enemies who wanted to displace them.

There are so many other lessons in the show but here are a few that I have picked out.

Have you seen Peaky Blinders? If you have, please share the most important lesson that stood out to you. Be sure to share this post with your friends and family if you found it useful!

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