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“Wolf of Wall Street” a Film by Martin Scorsese Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Sep 9th, 2021

The movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a masterpiece narrating the fascinating story of Jordan Belfort. The story begins in 1987 when Jordan Belfort gets the job of a broker in a company called R.F. Rothschild. The character is supposed to worker under the supervision of Mark Hanna (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Hanna informs Jordan Belfort that the only way to succeed as a stockbroker is to earn more money for himself. He is eventually loses his job as R.F. Rothschild’s broker. He is immediately hired by another brokerage firm. Because of his hard work and aggressiveness, Jordan Belfort is able to start his own firm named Stratton Oakmont.

The combined efforts of Jordan Belfort and his lieutenant, Jonah Hill, play a significant role towards supporting his goals. He also benefits significantly from the support of different brokers. Jordan Belfort amasses huge fortunes as a broker. However, the movie shows clearly that Jordan Belfort defrauds many wealthy clients and investors. These fortunes later encourage the younger entrepreneur to embrace a new lifestyle of drugs and prostitution. Jordan uses Steve Madden’s IPO to make 22 million dollars in less than three hours. He eventually opens an illegal account with a Swiss financial institution. Because of such financial crimes, the FBI closes in on Jordan Belfort after which he is arrested. He eventually serves around three years in prison. Jordan is later released and begins his new life as an educator.

The major characters in the film include John Belfort as the protagonist, Mark Hanna as his boss, and Donnie Azoff. According to the film, Donnie Azoff is Jordan’s neighbor (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Jordan befriends different people such as Naomi Lapaglia. His wife his named Teresa. The FBI agent in the film is called Patrick Denham. Jordan Belfort’s aunt is called Emma.

Organization of the Team


This movie shows a unique work design characterized by diverse roles. To begin with, the film is based on L.F. Rothschild Company. On top of the company’s organizational structure is Mark Hanna. According to the film, Hanna portrays unique managerial attributes. He is also Jordan Belfort’s boss. The boss goes further to encourage and empower Jordan to focus on making his own money (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). These attributes eventually force the company to fire Jordan. However, he gets a new job whereby he focuses on penny stocks.

Jordan Belfort eventually starts his own company named Stratton Oakmont. This company attracts many young financiers who take on different roles. Without a clearly defined organizational structure, the firm realizes its goals. The company engages in a wide range of unlawful activities in order to generate income (So, 2012).

Work Design and Structure

The film does not present a formal work design or structure. Jordan Belfort colludes with different people in order to open new bank accounts in Switzerland. Without defined roles and responsibilities, it becomes hard to identify the work design and structure of the new company (So, 2012). The characters appear to be the masters of their work designs. Jordan portrays a sense of passion and focus. At the same time, Jordan is immoral and deceptive.

Without a proper work structure, Jordan starts his company and eventually becomes rich. He manipulates his customers and eventually steals their resources. He is eloquent and charismatic thus being able to realize his potentials. At the same time, the leaders portray diverse organizational processes that make their respective companies successful (So, 2012). For instance, Hanna embraces a wide range of traits such as courage, clarity, and certainty in order to realize the targeted goals.


Individual Issues

The movie shows clearly that every person has his or her unique issues and strengths. One of the outstanding personalities in the film is that of Mark Hanna. According to the film, Mark Hanna is a great leader who is aware of the unique issues defining the financial market industry. This manager appears to have a unique ego. At the same time, he treats his followers with the most desired confident and interest (So, 2012). The manager focuses on the best leadership styles in order to achieve the targeted goals. The other unique personality is that of Jordan Belfort. According to the movie, this character is a dreamer, hardworking, and ambitious.

The other character who portrays unique individual issues is Naomi Lapaglia. According to the film, this character appears to be attracted to men who have money. She portrays a sexist prompt. She portrays a wide range of hobbies although some of them are faked. At Stratton, Donnie Azoff is the man who supports Jordan Belfort’s goals. This character is gay, vile, and unrepentantly abusive (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). He always uses his powerful skills to get on other individuals’ nerves.

Patrick Denham appears to boast a lot and always says he has connections. He plays the role of a friend and an enemy at the same time. He is also portrayed as the antagonist in the story (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). At the same time, he possesses powerful skills that make it easier for him to fight corruption. These individual issues and traits play a significant role towards supporting their goals throughout the film.

Leadership Styles

Leadership is a critical issue emphasized throughout this film. The major characters and companies presented in this appear to portray a number of leadership attributes and styles. To begin with, Mark Hanna portrays the best communication and interactional skills. This character is portrayed immediately after meeting Jordan Belfort. Motivational skills are evident in this movie (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Mark Hanna and Jordan Belfort are seen to energize every person in their lives. This kind of motivation makes it easier for the people to achieve their goals.

The other outstanding leadership aspect is leading other people by example (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Mark Hanna guides his followers and shows them how things should be done. He makes sure Jordan is engaged in every business activity. Teamwork is evident throughout the film (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Jordan Belfort attracts many people into his new company. Teamwork is evident because the newcomers focus on the best approaches in order to realize the targeted goals.

Jordan Belfort is observed to portray a powerful leadership style. His democratic leadership is observed when he allows his followers to focus on the most desirable goals. Mark Hanna appears to be a participative leader (Citron Research, 2013). By so doing, these leaders play a significant role towards impacting performance. The followers are equipped with the most appropriate resources in order to deliver the most desirable goals.

Strategic focus is a powerful concept embraced by many individuals in the film. This happens to be the case because the characters use clear steps to realize their (positive and negative) goals. Jordan Belfort is observed to use the concept of persuasion in an attempt to realize the targeted goals (Citron Research, 2013). The strategy makes it easier for the leader to empower more individuals in order to realize the targeted goals.

As an entrepreneur, Jordan Belfort gives massive value and support to the targeted followers. New employees are involved in every process. The leadership traits portrayed by these individuals make it easier for them to emerge successful (Citron Research, 2013). This is the case because both Hanna and Jordan Belfort equip their recruits with appropriate skills in order to realize every business objective. When such concepts are mastered, it becomes easier for the individuals to achieve their potentials.

Jordan Belfort’s lawyer is seen to portray a charismatic leadership. This strategy makes it easier for the lawyer, Jon Favreau, negotiates a powerful deal to ensure his client is not imprisoned (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Deception is also evident throughout the movie. This is the case because majority of the characters appear to deceive one another. On top of these traits, it is notable that most of the characters are guided by greed. All these traits work synergistically to dictate the outcomes and experiences of the characters.

Decision Making Styles

The characters in the film use various styles to make the most desirable decisions. To begin with, Jordan Belfort begins by analyzing or outlining the problems affecting him. This decision-making approach is notable when he loses his first job. He goes further to come up with appropriate solutions in an attempt to achieve his potentials. During the decision-making process, the characters collaborate with other individuals in order to come up with the best ideas (Sharma & Jain, 2013). The role of friends, counselors, and lawyers appear to support the decision-making processes of different characters.

Mark Hanna and Jordan Belfort appear to consider different strategies in order to make the most desirable decisions. The approaches are similar to the decision matrix strategy. This is the case because the individuals collaborate with different partners and identify new alternatives that can produce positive results. During decision-making, majority of the characters are observed to spend much time trying to clarify the most appropriate strategies and goals (Chuang, 2013). This is noticeable when Jordan Belfort considers numerous options such as starting his company and opening an account with a foreign financial institution.

Consequences are mandatory throughout the decision-making process. When in prison, the protagonist considers the consequences and implications of his decisions. Naomi gets the best advice from different individuals before deciding to divorce Jordan. After serving his sentence, Jordan comes up with a powerful strategy in order to make a living (Sharma & Jain, 2013). These decision-making approaches play a critical role towards supporting the needs of many characters throughout the storyline.

Before implementing the final decision, the individuals in the film reviewed the available options and at the same time examining the anticipated consequences (Sharma & Jain, 2013). During the same time, the characters consider different possibilities and issues in an attempt to realize the targeted goals. Once the best decision is made, it becomes possible for the individuals to realize their potentials.

Type of Power

The other outstanding fact about the movie is that portrays a wide range approaches to power. The individuals utilize different strengths and capabilities in an attempt to realize their goals. The first classic case is that of Jordan Belfort. This character appears to be smart and a strong leader. Using such competencies, the “character appears to be deceptive at first” (Citron Research, 2013, para. 3). At the same time, the audience sees clearly that the individual is smart and charismatic. These competencies make him smart and admirable. He uses this power to achieve his goals and even promote dishonest practices.

Leadership is another type of power portrayed in this movie. Some of the characters use their leadership competencies in an attempt to influence the behaviors of their followers and eventually realize their potentials. This kind of approach supports the needs of many persons in the film. The concept of deception is treated in the film as another source of power (Chuang, 2013). Through the use of deception, some of the characters amass wealth and eventually become ruthless.

The FBI uses its powers and technological resources to monitor the dishonesties and malpractices embraced by different characters in the film. This strategy plays a positive role towards addressing the corruption and deceit characterizing the financial market industry. Such powers explain why Jordan eventually finds himself in prison (Chuang, 2013). Similarly, Mark Hanna embraces his powers in order to ensure the targeted company achieves its business goals.

Personal competencies such as critical thinking and problem-solving are embraced throughout the film. Such competencies encourage more people to focus on the issues affecting them and eventually realize their business potentials (Sharma & Jain, 2013). That being the case, the sources of power in this film are either institutional or personal. Such sources support the needs of different persons and eventually make it easier for them to achieve their personal goals.

Conflict Resolution

The conflict theory can be used to analyze how statuses, powers, and roles change throughout the film. The roles of Jordan Belfort explain why he encounters a wide range of conflicts. At L.F. Rothschild, Belfort is forced to work under rude superiors. However, he goes further to start his own company and eventually convinces more people to support him. This shows how the protagonist manages to deal with the conflicts affecting his life. As a husband, the character has to deal with numerous problems (Sharma & Jain, 2013). He is portrayed as a faithful husband who does not support his family. Although he is unable to deal with such problems, he eventually finds new strategies to deal with them.

His status in the society is seen to change throughout the movie. At the very beginning, he starts as a less significant figure after getting his first job (Citron Research, 2013). However, he deals with every conflict in order to become a successful businessperson. The people at the top in different companies appear to be ruthless and unfaithful. The kind of society portrayed in the film appears to be very destructive.

Belfort is unable to deal with many issues that face him along the way. However, he embraces the best ideas and strategies in order to redefine his position in the society. The film shows conclusively that the character is forced to reinvent himself every time he encounters a new challenge (Citron Research, 2013). The final act of becoming an educator clearly indicates how Jordan Belfort is able to deal with the conflicts affecting him. Such lessons can be embraced by different individuals in order to realize their potentials. It is therefore notable that many characters use a wide range of strategies to deal with the conflicts affecting them.

Motivational Factors

Motivation is evidence throughout the movie. The first source of motivation in this film is the desire to succeed in life. For instance, Belfort focuses on the best initiatives that can make him successful” (Citron Research, 2013). That being the case, the character develops a powerful vision that appears to motivate him throughout the way. He then considers the best approaches towards realizing the targeted goals. He attracts more people with the best skills and dexterities in order to ensure every goal is realized.

The desire for riches is another source of motivation in this film. The characters are self-centered and overcome all hurdles in an attempt to realize their potentials. After getting his first job, Jordan Belfort is informed by his boss that he must use the best strategies to make his own money. This initial advice appears to dictate the actions and initiatives undertaken by the character throughout the film. Consequently, such initiatives make it possible for him to become a millionaire. Unfortunately, he uses rogue and illegal methods to amass wealth (Citron Research, 2013). This malpractice eventually results in new conflicts in the film. After finding himself in prison, Belfort is unable to continue committing his past criminal acts.

The leadership embraced by individuals such as Mark Hanna plays a critical role towards supporting the objectives of different characters. For instance, the leadership of Hanna motivates more people to work hard and embrace the most appropriate business values. Such values are useful towards promoting the best practices that can drive performance (Chuang, 2013). Combined with the love for wealth, the characters are motivated to work hard and eventually become successful.

Although the film does not appear to give a detailed analysis of the major sources of motivation, the viewer sees clearly that majority of the people focus on the concept of the American dream in order to lead better lifestyles (Citron Research, 2013). The individuals look for good jobs that can support their goals. However, these individuals go further to engage in specific malpractices and business activities. The case of Jordan Belfort shows how different individuals engage in lawful business activities.

The audience of the film observes that every individual is guided and motivated by an intrinsic force to get whatever he or she wants (Citron Research, 2013). The characters develop the best competencies and traits in order to record positive results. They also attract the right people who possess the most desirable skills that can be used to realize the targeted goals. The use of this deceptive strategy makes it possible for Jordan Belfort to acquire his wealth (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013). Many partners eventually lose their monies and resources in the process.

The case of Jordan shows how individuals can use every available opportunity to achieve their goals. They can do so by ignoring the rights of others and even deceiving them. According to the film, the protagonist is able to engage in different activities in an attempt to realize his potentials (Chuang, 2013). He even misuses and hurts others. This fact shows clearly that he is motivated in an attempt to emerge successful. He masters the art of manipulation and uses it accordingly depending on the situation encountered.


This masterpiece presents powerful lessons that can be embraced by many people to realize their personal, professional, and business goals. One of the outstanding issues outlined in the film is that of leadership. Good leaders should be ready to attract more persons who are like-minded and possess the most desirable traits. By so doing, such followers will form new teams and focus on the best approaches to realize the targeted goals. Leaders can also acquire a wide range of lessons from this film. For instance, leaders and managers should always be able to control their emotions. This practice can make it easier for them to support their followers and eventually record positive results. The film goes further to support the importance of clarity, courage, and certainty (Aziz & Scorsese, 2013).

When these skills are carefully used, it becomes possible for people to realize their objectives. The next lesson is the ability to implement a powerful strategy. The strategy should be characterized by unique factors and skills such as persuasion (So, 2012). The leaders should use the best values and competencies in an attempt to realize the targeted goals. People should use these ideas to nurture themselves and develop better competencies that can deliver positive results. People who want to achieve their potentials must have a clear vision. The vision should guide them in order to emerge successful. The other thing is for individuals to control their emotions and always follow the law. By so doing, they will engage in ethical businesses and ensure their achievements are sustainable. Such lessons have the potential to transform the lives of many persons and eventually make them successful.


Aziz, R. (Producer), & Scorsese, M. (Director). (2013). The wolf of Wall Street [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

Chuang, S. (2013). Essential skills for leadership effectiveness in diverse workplace development. Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development, 6(1), 1-23.

Sharma, M., & Jain, S. (2013). Leadership management: principles, models, and theories. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(3), 309-318.

Citron Research. (2013). Web.

So, J. (2012). The real wolf of Wall Street: Jordan Belfort’s vulgar memoirs. The Daily Beast. Web.

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