The Avengers Show You How To Act Like A Boss
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for a release this month following the huge success of its 2012 prequel, which grossed over US$1.5 billion (RM5.56 billion) worldwide and became the third-highest-grossing film of all time.
These Marvel Comic superheroes are as well known for their superhuman abilities as they are for their extraordinary talents, but there are also important leadership lessons that we can learn from these world-saving wonders.
For example, while we might not necessarily be called upon to cancel an apocalypse or battle deadly foes in business, we will often have to recalibrate our organisations, make strategic decisions and combat pressure from internal and external competition. Here are five important boss lessons that movie fans around the world can pick up from The Avengers:
1) Never stop innovating
Iron Man’s armour has evolved many times since Tony Stark initially invented it. The original Mark I was created with limited amount of supplies while Stark was held in captivity in Afghanistan.
He continues to elevate his armour game with Mark II, in which Stark improves the suit’s flight capacities and adds more features including an on-board AI system and internal diagnostic display.
However, the problem with Mark II is that it freezes when it reaches high altitudes, so Stark fixes the problem by changing the material for Mark III. In Iron Man 3, the film’s latest instalment, the Mark XLII (his 42nd suit), can be summoned remotely and is known for its ability to fly in separate pieces and wrap itself around Stark’s body, piece by piece.
Like Stark, we should never be satisfied with our achievements and constantly innovate to manage our finances better and more efficiently. Keep pushing your boundaries and maybe one day, you will become a genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist too.
2) Keep calm at all times
“Don’t make me angry. You won’t like it when I’m angry,” is a trigger statement uttered by the mild-mannered doctor Bruce Banner prior to his metamorphosis into the raging Hulk.
In real life, an out-of-control temper can have serious repercussions on your life and at work. If you’re in a position of power, threatening an outburst is not a display of power, but an act of bullying.
Also, a lack of self-control is an indicator that you have poor people and coping skills and will likely fuel resentment rather than respect from your co-workers. Emotions often wreck havoc in one’s money management, be it in investment, budget or savings.
As Banner will subsequently learn, real leaders are able to keep calm under pressure and maintain a cool head at all times, especially when confronted with difficult scenarios.
3) Dominate humbly
Thor was a powerful God who was the heir to the throne of Asgard. While he has won many heroic battles and adventures for his kingdom, he grew headstrong and arrogant.
When Thor broke a truce between the Asgardians and their deadly enemies, the Frost Giants, and nearly started a war, his father, Odin cast him from the heavens to live amongst the humans in Midgard (earth).
Stripped of his hammer and his powers, an angry and confused Thor meets the beautiful and compassionate Jane Foster. He eventually learns humility and self-sacrifice and becomes one of earth’s finest defenders.
As the new and improved Thor discovers, great leaders don’t brag about their strengths, wealth or accomplishments. They allow others to do so.
4) Play to your strengths
Successful entrepreneurs, top scientists, artistes and athletes throughout history have achieved greatness (and notoriety) by focusing on their areas of strength.
Agent Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) clearly understands this. Often using her feminine charms to her advantage, Romanoff has been known to bend men to her will and get them to do her bidding.
While she is also an expert tactician, hacker, strategist and field commander, her blazing sex appeal is arguably her most powerful and effective weapon.
That said, it is not always about appearances. We can maximise our work proficiency and performance by building and leveraging on our natural skills and talents toward achieving our long-term goals.
This can also be applied to money management. Turn your weaknesses into strengths – if you have to spend a lot on fuel and is unable to cut down on that expense, use a payment method that rewards you for your spending!
5) Defend your team
It is no coincidence that Captain America’s main weapon is a shield, in which he uses to protect and preserve his team members, as well as innocent bystanders.
In Captain America 2, his commitment to his team extends even to a former best friend and comrade-in-arms at the possible cost of his own life, proving his commitment to being a team player.
Great bosses would do the same to defend their team (though we are not so sure about the fighting super-villains part). Still, in times of turmoil and conflict, they will do their utmost to protect their team from a potential fallout. A worthy leader earns loyalty from his team by showing loyalty first.
In the end, if there is anything we’ve learned from our favourite superheroes, it is that true power does not always come from your innate skills or talents, it comes from your character, first!
It is also about giving ourselves a chance to discover and develop our talents in pursuing something we love and are good at doing, and using it to enrich our lives as well as the lives of others.
Finally, it is the steadfast and persevering attitudes of our superheroes that we are truly enamoured with, not so much their superpowers!