How You Can Lead Like a Superhero

The Vision Playing CardYou folks know I’m obsessed with comic books, movies, pop culture, and superheroes.  I’m even wearing my Green Lantern t-shirt as I write this.  The reason we love superheroes is we all secretly aspire to be like them.

Now none of us are rushing out to get bitten by radioactive spiders or to jump in pools of irradiated toxic waste but I’m sure you’re willing to do a little light and fun reading to be more like a superhero leader.

Lucky for you I’ve compiled some of my favorite hero/superhero posts that I’ve written on this blog over the years and included them in this post.  I’ve also saved you some time and wrote a quick abstract on what the post covers.  I hope you find the posts helpful, insightful, and entertaining.  They cover everything from leadership to innovation to goal setting.  The characters include Snake Plissken, Master Oogway, Mr. Spock, Han Solo, Jack Sparrow, and other colorful folks from the big screen, the small screen, and the comic books.

So here goes our first official superhero roundup!  Click the headline next to each photo and you’ll be taken to the full article.

Innovate like Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack Sparrow can teach you a great deal about innovation.  He shows us how to look for simple solutions, bend or ignore the rules, experiment, and be bold.  Learn how you too can be more innovative by following his lead.

Lead like Snake Plissken. Snake Plissken, the character played by Kurt Russell in cult 1981 action flick “Escape from New York,” might seem to be an unlikely leadership model, but there’s plenty to learn from the hard-bitten hero. I suggest emulating Snake’s relentless focus, self-belief and willingness to take calculated risks.

Set goals Yoda-style. The little green guy is a font of wisdom (not to mention being a complete bad-ass with a lightsaber).  If you listen to his guidance of prepare, believe and do, you will find many of the goals you only dreamed of are well within your reach (even though things on the top shelf are out of Yoda’s reach unless he cheats and uses the force).

Make decisions like Mr. Spock. Star Trek’s Captain Kirk is a great leader, but only because his impetuous instincts are kept in check by the dispassionate Mr. Spock. We can’t all have Vulcans on our team, but we owe it to our organizations to surround ourselves with strong deputies capable of challenging us to overcome our managerial weaknesses.

The pros and cons of leading like the Green Hornet. The Green Hornet is more than just a superhero vigilante, he’s a leadership model for all of us. Sure, the Hornet may not be much of a team player, but he is decisive, driven, and determined to shake up the status quo in the name of getting things done.

Be an informal leader like Han Solo. Han Solo is one of the greatest heroes ever.  He never wanted to be in the spotlight as THE hero but he always got the job done.  He can teach you how to lead informally, be direct, take risks, and act decisively.  Sure he wasn’t as glamorous as Luke but he knew what was right, was willing to risk his life for his teammates, and generally had the coolest name out of all of them.

Leonidas proves that less is more King Leonidas who led 300 Spartans against the Persian hordes understood that bigger is not always better.  He chose to take a much smaller army against a seemingly more powerful foe and he won victory in the long term.  His approach can teach you a few things about how you might run your business more effectively with fewer people.

So there you have it.  My first official superhero roundup.  I hope you find the lessons useful and entertaining.  So who’s your favorite hero?  Let me know in the comments and if they’re awesome enough maybe I’ll write a post about them sometime!

– Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC
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Photo: Marvel Comics Superheroes Card Game by Mark Anderson

One Response to “How You Can Lead Like a Superhero”

  1. This is great fun, and really true. I wish I could lead like Mr. Spock, that guy knows how to stay cool under pressure. I reposted this on our Twitter feed @jpatrickjobs

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