Put on your tights and turn your underwear into outerwear because yesterday was National Comic Book Day!
Since the introduction of Superman in 1938, comic book superheroes have become a long-standing American tradition that continually inspire everyday people to do what’s right in the face of adversity. Whether it’s in the box-office or in the form of a graphic novel, we can’t get enough of this American mythology.
In the spirit of this unofficial day of celebration, we’ll explore the top five lessons superheroes have taught us about business.
- A Victim Mentality Will Get You Nowhere
At a young age, Matt Murdock fell prey to a chemical spill that left him permanently blind. Rather than perceiving his accident as leaving him “disabled”, he quickly learned from his father and mentors that the incident was a gift that could lead him to a life of greatness.
It would have been easy for Murdock to spend the rest of his life feeling sorry for himself, but he had bigger plans. Instead of succumbing to a victim mindset, he decided to use his “disadvantages” to his advantage. With sharpened senses, he gave himself new sight and purpose in life, and took on a new crime-fighting identity: Daredevil.
Every business experiences setbacks at times, but what separates great businesses from failing businesses is how they decide to get back up after being knocked down. Spending even a moment of time in a victim mindset can be detrimental for your business, because you can make decisions that act as self-fulfilling prophecies for your negativity. And staying in a victim mindset can leave you thinking about the past when you should be making decisions to plan for a better future.
- We All Have a Finite Amount of Willpower
Green Lanterns are beings with extraordinary willpower that have dedicated their lives to protecting the universe from evil. This group of do-gooders wield rings that make the wearer’s objects of imagination to life through sheer force of will. If they will a jet plane or building into existence, the ring will create a construct that mimics the size, shape and functionality of those objects.
Despite harboring more willpower than any other beings in the universe, the willpower of a Green Lantern is finite. Every time a Green Lantern uses his ring, its energy levels are drained, and once its reserves are depleted, the ring must be recharged before it can be used again. In fact, it’s not atypical to find that the power in a Green Lantern’s ring is drained before they conquer their all of their daily struggles.
Does this concept sound familiar?
We all have a set amount of willpower in our business and personal life. And as we take on various challenges throughout the day, our willpower wanes. Instead of looking to overcome the things that drain your willpower, look to readjust your day so that the things that are most important are done when your willpower is at its highest — the morning. Then, after you’ve accomplished what you need to, recharge your willpower through a good night’s sleep so you can be ready to take on the next day.
- Teams Always Accomplish More Than Individuals
Picture the greatest superhero you can think of, and you’ll find that more than likely, that superhero is a part of a team. Wolverine is a part of the X-Men, Superman is a part of The Justice League, Captain America is a part of The Avengers — all great heroes are a part of great teams. If you’ve never thought about it before, this can seem a little peculiar. Why would beings with extraordinary powers and abilities need the help of others to accomplish their goals? The answer is simple — even superheroes understand that you can accomplish more with a team than you can on your own.
No one succeeds alone. When it comes to accomplishing your goals, you’ll need to surround yourself with other talented individuals who want to help you because they share your desire to think and achieve big things. While you may be able to accomplish a lot on your own, you’ll always reach a limitation if you don’t have the right teammates in place. Whether you’re saving the universe or running a business, you want to fill your team with people that complement your own abilities and shortcomings.
- Connect Your Business to a “Big Why”
Every superhero has an origin story that connects “what” they do to “why” they do it. Whether it be losing a loved one, witnessing an injustice or simply accepting the responsibility that comes with power, heroes all have a cause or reason closely connected to them that fuels their daily actions.
High levels of productivity are generally the result of priority and purpose. By connecting your job or business to your own origin story, you can set up a path of dominoes that will lead you to a path of extraordinary results. Working toward a “big why” makes your daily work more rewarding and satisfying because it provides your daily work with a sense of purpose.
- Be The Change You Want to See
Bruce Wayne (Batman) didn’t wait to stumble across some radioactive waste before deciding to become a super hero. Instead, he saw that the city his father had loved was destined to ruin and decided to be the person who was going to fix it. Whether he’s managing the Wayne Foundation to help fund programs for those in need or on the street locking up crime-bosses, Bruce Wayne syncs up both his business and personal life to accomplish a single goal of saving the city of Gotham — it’s his ONE Thing.
There would be nothing mythological about Batman if he waited for extraordinary circumstances to make his dream become a reality. In your business, if you want to do extraordinary things, become the type of business who will make extraordinary things happen. It’s never too early to start working toward a massive goal — what you do now will help shape what you will be in the future.
Have superheroes taught you any valuable business lessons? Share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!