Sunday, June 12, 2011

...from Superheroes

We grow up idolizing superheroes and fantasize becoming one someday. Naively, we tempt fate by sticking our hands in spider jars, wishing for that life changing bite, only to find out it’s not that easy.

It’s another summer of Hollywood superheroes, and while they work on reviving yet another version of the classics crusaders, it’s the movies of the less-known-ones that makes me realize anyone can be a hero.
These are the business lessons that weren’t taught in X Men’s school for the gifted.

The Ten Things I Learned…from Superheroes

1. You might be out of this world, but act human
Superman might be considered the most powerful superhero, but his humbleness as Clark Kent is what makes him a very special human. There’s no need for him to brag that he just saved the world last night. No doubt you’re great at your job, but don’t lose the humility that connects you to others in your group.

2. Train a Sidekick
Batman outsmarted every other hero by training his backup. If something ever happened to Batman, who do you think would step up to get his job? Robin! Train your people to prepare them to take your place, preferably when you get promoted – and not captured by some Joker.

3. Stay away from kryptonite
Like kryptonite can weaken the strongest of all heroes, there are always things that bring us down. It might be bad weather or bad news, it could be a bad day or a bad sales call. It’s that black cloud that can follow us around certain days. Avoid it and step into a brighter light.  Exercise tends to work and superheroes get plenty of that.

4. Keep up to date with relevant powers
If you plan on being a Superhero, try to have multiple, but more importantly, relevant powers – they’re called skills in our world. Those who don’t have much to offer don’t get called that often to the rescue. In today’s Metropolis there’s not much need for mind-controlling dolphins, sorry Aquaman!  

5. Beware of the archenemies and their evil plans
Like in comics, there are people who do bad…whether by mistake or intentionally. We’ll all face archenemies in our careers because of envy, being on different pages, or simply and unexplained evil. Distance yourself from those who are out to harm you; they’re not worth the fight. 

6. Take off your mask with your most trusted ones
Even the most reserved superheroes confessed who they were to their circle of trust, whether it was a family member, a loved one, or a butler. Open up to the ones you trust most, they are fighting your same battle.  

7. Form a league of super friends
Growing up, I watched a cartoon that had all superheroes working from the same “hall of justice” -or office. Depending on the emergency, they’d send in the team that had the best skills to handle it. At work, form a team with other superheroes who can strengthen or complement your skills. Together you’ll be better prepared to fight any legion of doom.

8. Look to your seniors for advice
All major superheroes, including Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, went to their parents for advice –even in the form of flashbacks. The strongest muscle, or coolest gadget, doesn’t stand a chance to wisdom from experience. There were heroes before you, like the senior team in your management. Look for their advice as you train to follow their footsteps.   

9. Be –or empower - a wonder woman.
In  a world….filled with injustice…. women, unfortunately, work harder to get rewarded - equally at best.  This message is for the WonderWomen out there who’ve become an inspiration to all. Continue battling strong, particularly in more restraining cultures, to make this a better world. The justice league is incomplete without you.  

10. Anyone can be a Superhero
Have you studied the background for every hero? Some are extra-planetary, others descendants of millionaires. There are spider-bitten teenagers and others the mutant next door.  In short, they all come from different backgrounds but share one commonality: they chose to be superheroes, to do good, to train hard. No matter your background, so can you.

We haven’t been tasked to save the world, but it lies within each of us to make it a better place. Our Gotham is the corporate world and our business skills the powers we develop along the way.
Hopefully, having read this, you’ve become a stronger person and you begin singing the Superman jingle when you walk into work each day –preferably in your head.

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