by Gail Z. Martin
Ok, I’ll admit it—I love superheroes. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Spider-man—I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, and a new movie will still see me standing in line, clutching my ticket and popcorn, waiting for a thrill.
But if you think superheroes are kid stuff, think again. I’ve learned several important business lessons from those bigger-than-life characters, and I’d like to share them with you.
1. Bad luck can be the beginning of a whole new amazing career. Peter Parker got bitten by a radioactive spider, and became Spider-Man. Fantastic Four were exposed to radiation, and gained superpowers to save the world. Batman lost his parents, but became the savior of Gotham City. In every case, these superheroes overcame tragedy and personal loss to become something far more than they ever expected they could be. What have you overcome that has prepared you to step up to challenges and play at a whole new level?
2. With great power comes great responsibility. Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben warns him that to whom much is given, much will be expected. When you’re successful in business and have more than you need, remember to give back to your community and to those less fortunate. Use your power, great or small, to make the world a better place and ease the suffering of those around you.
3. Teamwork gets you farther than grandstanding, even if you’ve got amazing skills. It’s the lesson nearly every superhero has to learn the hard way early in his/her career. Just because you’re hot stuff doesn’t mean you can go it alone. You are far more powerful with the help of allies than you could ever be alone.
4. Everyone has his kryptonite. Superman has X-ray vision, amazing strength and super speed. He’s invincible, except for this green rock that makes him powerless. Everyone, no matter how successful, has a kryptonite that takes the wind out of their sails. The next time you are in awe of a celebrity speaker, fantastically successful entrepreneur or visionary leader and feeling insignificant by comparison, realize that they, too, have their weaknesses and insecurities. They’re not Superman, so you shouldn’t feel as if you have to be a super hero and perfect in everything to succeed.
5. Don’t be a jerk. Tony Stark (Iron Man) learns this the hard way, and the lesson is expensive. Value the people who are in your life, and let them know it. Thank those who enable your success. And even if you are smarter, faster, and stronger than everyone around you, don’t flaunt your superiority. Instead, use your abilities to help others shine.
6. Anger creates more problems. Scientist David Banner turns into the Incredible Hulk loses control when he gets angry, and turns into a huge rage-filled monster. During his angry rampages, lots of things get destroyed, but Banner wakes up bruised, battered and in worse shape than before he got angry. Take a hint from the Hulk. Anger makes monsters of the best people. Don’t act out.
Those are just some of the things I’ve learned from superheroes, but the most important lesson is this: You can change the world BECAUSE you are not like everyone else. You are special, wonderful and unique, and the journey that brought you to where you are today makes you uniquely qualified to use your abilities to make a big difference in the lives of those around you.
Who are your favorite superheroes and what lessons did you learn from them? I’d love to know. Want to continue the conversation and share your thoughts and questions? Connect with me on Twitter @GailMartinPR!
Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies and solo professionals in the U.S. and Canada improve their marketing results in 30 days. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. Gail hosts the Shared Dreams Marketing Podcast. She’s the author of 30 Days to Social Media Success and The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book. Find her online at www.GailMartinMarketing.com, on Twitter @GailMartinPR and check out her Facebook page at 30 Day Results Guide.
By Gail Z. Martin