Today is a banner day for theviewfromhere. We have our very first guest post. We all have one at one point or another. Do you remember your first? Well, anyway, let’s get the show on the road.
Today’s post comes from Erin Palmer. Erin is a writer and editor for Bisk Education at Villanova University. Her writing covers topics such as PMP prep course information which prepares students interested in the field of project management to enter the workforce. Through the University Alliance, Erin writes articles to help students gain a certificate in project management. You can reach Erin via twitter at @Erin_E_Palmer
What can the Avengers teach us about leadership?
Have you ever wondered what you would do with superpowers? It is fun to imagine what sort of good we could do if we were suddenly bit by a radioactive spider or struck by a science experiment gone awry. However, superheroes aren’t heroes by virtue of their powers alone. It’s how they handle their gifts that make them truly special.
Aside from the good looks and cool powers, the Avengers can depart valuable lessons about leadership. Each character has strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. They have to make important decisions knowing that the fate of other people rests on their ability to make the right choices. Superheroes might have an edge due to their superpowers, but what makes the Avengers a great example of leadership is actually their human side.
Captain America’s great leadership is not due to his super soldier skills. Though the ability to beat down the bad guys is impressive, his real strength comes from how much he cares about his country. His loyalty drives him to be better and give his all every time. That sort of commitment to the people he fights for inspires others to work harder as well.
Any leader can benefit from loyalty. Being loyal to your team will foster trust. If your team feels like you could turn on them at any minute, they will constantly be on edge. Having a team that knows that you support them will make it easier for them to come together and get the job done. A loyal leader creates a loyal team.
Here’s a fun fact about Iron Man: he doesn’t actually have a superpower. His special abilities come from the powered suit that he created in order to save his own life. He later begins using his suit and other technological creations to stop villains and save innocent people. Though the suit is impressive, it is his brain that really deserves the credit. His true strength lies in his creativity and innovation.
The best leaders are never satisfied with mediocrity. If you only focus on the present, there is a good chance that it will catch up with you eventually. The business world doesn’t stay still for long. Keeping your management style and business decisions stagnant can be detrimental as the industry continues to evolve around you. Keep your eyes on the horizon and encourage your team to do the same.
The image that most often come to mind when you think of The Hulk is probably that of him going green, gaining muscle and ripping through his clothes. Superhuman strength is all well and good, but The Hulk’s powers are more of a burden than a blessing. He regularly loses control of himself and his actions. Though his strength can help do good deeds, it can also lead to total mayhem.
Restraint is a huge part of being a good leader. You don’t have to completely suppress your emotions, but you can’t let them totally take over either. If you go into a screaming rage every time things don’t go your way, your team will lose respect for you. It’s hard to work with someone that would rather scream at you than talk with you. When challenges come up, channel your anger into productivity. Figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it. Ultimately, solving the problem will make you feel better than losing your cool.
Ability to make tough decisions
Thor is most known for being the god of thunder and carrying a gigantic hammer. You might think as a god, he has it the easiest. However, Thor actually has to face the most difficult decisions of all the Avengers. Thor not only has to fight for a planet that is not his own, but he also has to help bring down his own brother. Fighting a super villain is hard enough, but fighting a super villain that you grew up alongside is especially taxing. Thor has to do the right thing even though it is difficult.
Leaders will face all sorts of difficulties. It isn’t always going to be easy to decide the best course of action, but it is a part of the job. Things like knowing when you have to let an employee go can be tough even when you know they are necessary. Leadership is about doing what has to be done, and unfortunately, it might not always please every single person. A leader has to do what’s best for the entire team, even if it is challenging.
Keep egos in check
One of the most noteworthy things about the Avengers is that it isn’t just one superhero; it is a whole team of them. In theory, having a team full of leaders should be wonderful. If one leader is awesome, shouldn’t a group of leaders be all the more awesome? Unfortunately, putting a bunch of superheroes on one team can be complicated. Not only are they battling the super villain, but they are also fighting against one another’s egos.
When leaders work together, it is easy to fall into a too many cooks in the kitchen situation. Check your ego at the door and focus on the most important thing… the work at hand. Having the last word each time doesn’t make you the strongest. Working alongside other leaders can make you better. You’ll get the opportunity to learn new techniques and benefit from bouncing around ideas with people that think differently than yourself. You don’t need a fancy weapon or a spandex ensemble to be an amazing leader. You already have the power to lead your team to success.
Thank you Erin for your thoughts on leadership and management. We wish you the best of luck with the future of your program.
So, folks, how do you feel about keeping those ego’s in check? Is it important to ensure you can work in a collaborative environment? Let us know your thoughts about dealing with those super-hero egos in your life.