5 Mary Poppins Quotes That Will Inspire You to Be a “Practically Perfect” Leader

Now, we’re always in awe of everyone’s favorite practically perfect British nanny – her poise and stoicism, her generosity and ability to see the light in everyone. She was adept at rallying a group together for the greater good. It was quite clear that Mary had the potential be a great leader. We imagine she could eradicate decades-long wars simply by partaking in teatime with the enemy.

Pop culture holds the power to inspire, whether it be through superheroes facing seemingly insurmountable odds or a down-on-their-luck regular joe just trying to get by. Mary Poppins is no exception.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of 5 quotes from Mary Poppins said by the practically perfect nanny herself that’ll add fuel to your fire and empower you to be the best leader you can be.

“Never judge things by their appearance…even carpetbags.”

Of course, the above quote is about Mary’s enormous carpetbag that’s capable of carrying a standing lamp. You’ve heard the phrase, “never judge a book by its cover.” Well, this quote is another good reminder that things aren’t always as they appear. Challenge your team to go deeper and to push beyond whatever superficiality is holding them back from firing on all cylinders.  

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

Yes, sometimes in life we must do menial tasks that aren’t exactly “Instagram worthy” – even in a profession we love. However, if you can encourage your team to adopt a “element of fun” approach, you’ll find overall morale soaring to new heights.

Regardless of the job, your perspective will shape your reality, and your perspective is in your control. So, we change our reality when we change the way we think about things. 

“I am kind but extremely firm.”

Tara Basham works in Human Resources at Potter’s House Apothecary. She shared with us how Mary Poppins profoundly resonated with her as she forged ahead in her career.

She really took Mary’s mantra “I am kind but firm” to heart. You can add said mantra to your own leadership arsenal. Be kind to your team, but never fail to be firm when a situation calls for it. You’re a leader meant to inspire, to manage, and to push your team to stay motivated.

It’s difficult to strike that practically perfect balance but it’s entirely possible to achieve.

“Enough is as good as a feast.”

This is actually an age of proverb, but Mary Poppins put her own twist on it. When shaping the next generation of leaders, it is important to teach them to work with what they have. If you never need more than what you have, you always have exactly what you need. 

Always wanting and needing more leads you down an endless spiral of dissatisfaction. One of the greatest skills to learn is working with what you have and getting crafty when it calls for it. 

“Come feed the little birds – show them you care. And you’ll be glad if you do.”

Doing good feels good. Support your team of “little birds.” Lift them up.

Remember, we’re all human. Help them realize their potential and teach them how to unlock it. How to harness said potential and catalyze it for their own successes.

Mary’s quote hearkens back to the Golden Rule: “treat others as you want to be treated.” We could all stand to keep that in mind in these uncertain and tumultuous times.