Superheroism In The Workplace – What We Can Learn From Superheroes
Yes, I am a superhero fanboy. I have always been one. Proud owner of a Star Wars pop-up book, DC all-posters book, a massive Stormtrooper and Captain America action figure & also a life-size Thor hammer at home, my love for the ‘religion’ doesn’t stop there. I have got posters of Superman, Batman, The Hulk and Spiderman at my workstation. And yes, they look awesome!
The whole superhero culture has been in our lives for decades now. Since, their debut in 1938, superheroes have been dealing with personal, social, moral and political issues bringing in a ray of hope, wonder, positivity and excitement in the lives of many in one form or the other. But their influence doesn’t stop there, does it? Not for me, for sure.
While the list is never ending, here are a few superheroes that have ‘that something’ that we can learn from them to become a better professional at our workplace.
Are you ready? Well, then “It’s Clobberin‘ Time!”
Batman – The Dark Knight
“It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”
What makes Batman so special (and popular) even though he has no superpower? Is it the cool gadgets or the compelling origin story? The plethora of awesome villains? Or is it the never die attitude of the man?
He is the silent protector, the one who is always there for his city, never shying away from the responsibility that he himself has given to him. You don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, what you need is the heart of a hero. He is the brand, as Bruce Wayne and the Batman – a unique identity to differentiate himself from the rest and gets the work done… consistently. Who doesn’t want a sincere and focused individual always ready to get everything (and everyone) in place, for the greater good?
Captain America – The First Avenger
Red Skull – “Ah. He resented my genius and tried to deny me what was rightfully mine, but he gave you everything. So, what made you so special?”
Steve Rogers: “Nothing. I’m just a kid from Brooklyn.”
He is the one with the incredible work ethic and persistent spirit to remain truthful to the work he does. He was the one who was acknowledged to be the world’s first superhero not because of his talent or strength but his character. And you can’t teach that to someone. Add the fact that he really brings out the best in other people, you have your team leader right there looking at you.
Superman – The Great One
“Keep calm and this is a job for Superman”
The one who is all powerful – Superman is the greatest superhero, ever. You can try to argue but you’d be wrong.
He is the good-natured small town boy who understands the ultimate responsibility that comes with being the most powerful man on Earth. From fighting off Darkseid on one side of the planet to saving a crashing airplane on the other, he defines multitasking like no one does. No argument there, no? Imagine a person in your organization who has such amazing multitasking skills, one who strives for perfection & greater good and who can do it all without complaining one bit! A dream hiring for the HR, I guess.
Wonder Woman – Let Truth Prevail
“If it means interfering in an ensconced, outdated system, to help just one woman, man or child… I’m willing to accept the consequences.”
‘Trust’ isn’t something you can take for granted in today’s world of cut-throat competition and back-stabbing. With Princess Diana (Wonder Woman) what you get is a trustworthy individual who is going to stand for the right thing, no matter what. Add the superpower strength and zeal to outperform, you sure have a WONDERful professional for you. Being truthful goes a long way and really gets the team together – and there is no substitute for that.
Deadpool – The Merc With A Mouth
“You may be wondering why the red suit? Well, that’s so bad guys can’t see me bleed.”
He had cancer, went through a rogue experiment; lost everything except his ‘crazy talking skills’. And gained superpowers similar to someone whose name rhymes with “Polverine”. Oh yeah, he is the crazy one! The one who has something to say about everything all the time. Let’s ignore the R-rated quotes and instead focus on the crazy energy that comes with this character. The livewire who can turn a normal day into a party! Admit it, you need this person for his sheer craziness – just promise that you will not make the super suit green… or animated.
All these traits may not come naturally to all of us but what is needed is that we strive towards bringing out the best in us, one day at a time.
Let’s try to look at the superhero culture from not what we are made to see but from what it truly stems from. Quoting Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”