Photo credit (above): marvelousRoland | Flickr
The superheros leadership handbook
By SARA YEE
Superheroes are amazing people, simply because of the winning combination of their super powers and human values that provides numerous lessons to be learnt by all.
This issue on The Avengers shows us what it’s like to be in the shoes of heroes as they battle not only external monsters, but their internal beasts.
The characters undergo many trials and tribulations in order to achieve their goals and they learn to adapt to difficult situations with their newfound knowledge.
Undoubtedly, one can draw upon these characters’ developments and mirror them in the real world.
There are traits that can be followed and some that should be avoided. Here are some examples:
In the first Avengers movie, Loki attempts to play on the cracks in the freshly formed Avengers team by hitting where it hurts most – their inability to trust each other. When they manage to put their differences aside and trust their teammates, Loki is defeated.
Trust among your colleagues is important, failing which misgivings and unjustified dislike may arise and compromise your productivity.
In the Age of Ultron, the Avengers band together to defeat Ultron, who was on a rampage to destroy them. By working together to defeat Ultron and his army, they manage to save the world (again).
Teamwork is the key ingredient that sustains the success of an organisation.
You may be the most capable person in your field, but only when you join forces with your teammates will you be able to come up with solid ways to tackle the bigger picture.
3. Fast thinking
During Tony Stark’s confrontation with Loki on Stark Tower, he distracts Loki with banter while putting on an electronic wristband. This comes in handy when Loki throws him off the building.
The wristband allowed Stark’s Iron Man suit to track his movements and connect to him, thereby saving him from certain death. One should always be quick to come up with good solutions when thrown into different circumstances. This trait may come in handy during sudden crises.
4. Ability to delegate tasks
The final battle with the Chitauri saw the Avengers taking separate paths to defeat the aliens and in Age of Ultron, against Ultron’s army. Both times, Captain America delegated tasks to his team members based on their strengths and found the most efficient way to eliminate the threat.
As a leader, you should be able to delegate tasks properly in order to maximise on the strength of your team. Giving your team manageable tasks with enough autonomy will enable everyone to perform at their best!
Whilst battling the Chitauri, even though Black Widow and Captain America were grounded, they were able to assist their airborne comrades – including Hawkeye, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk by watching out for them.
Communication is an important tool in everyday leadership; when done right, tasks are executed efficiently and costly misunderstandings are avoided.
1. Not consulting members of your team
Tony Stark created Ultron even though he knew the rest would disagree. This resulted in the birth of a villain who the team needed to defeat.
One dangerous thing about going ahead with plans that aren’t discussed beforehand is that when people don’t get the whole picture from the start, projects may be jeopardised or situations become complicated because of this oversight.
Both Loki and Tony Stark have a great deal of arrogance; though the latter channels it (eventually) towards good and the former takes it at face value all the way and thinks people are beneath him.
The most important thing is to be humble, regardless of how skilled you are. Being skilled and humble are qualities that make great leaders as it shows they have insight.
3. Unable to compromise
Thor could not reach an agreement with Iron Man and Captain on dealing with Loki as Thor had conflicting views. When they couldn’t reach a consensus and insisted on doing things their own way, it resulted in havoc.
Therefore, to achieve good results you should put your differences aside to serve the greater good, and always remember to take into account everyone’s opinion before deciding on a course of action that may affect many.
4. Resorting to violence
During the very same standoff between Thor, Captain America and Iron Man, Thor’s vehement disagreement with them leads to a full-blown fight.
Violence used in disagreements can only lead to more problems. Would you like it if you were slapped in the face simply because you changed a few lines in a document?
Always walk through any disagreements calmly; solutions can be found without resorting to fisticuffs.
5. Lack of empathy
Ultron’s inability to put himself in the shoes of the heroes led him to believe that the only way for peace was to destroy the Avengers. Even when his faults were made clear, he refused to acknowledge them.
Empathy is something that you must have in order to be an effective leader.
It helps you see things from another person’s point of view and mend your ways before it’s too late.
Whilst writing on heroic lessons, Sara has come to realise that villains like Loki are capable of good too. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop her a line in the comment box provided. For more Top 10 articles, click here.
First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 20 June 2015