I never … ever … saw a Spiderman movie or read a Spiderman comic book although this Superhero was the rage dating back to his birth in the 1960s. Obviously I wasn’t drawn to do either. I can’t say why … I just wasn’t. That is until a couple of weeks ago. While channel surfing from the sofa on Sunday afternoon I came upon a Spiderman movie and thus, my introduction to this Superhero and his earthly alter-ego, Peter Parker. Rather quickly I was hooked. Voila … I feel behind the times no more.
As it turns out, this beginning wasn’t the end of my exposure to Spiderman for the week. I came upon an article in Forbes on-line this week by Geoff Loftus pertaining to Spiderman and his lessons of leadership. I was intrigued at the connection between leadership – a very real skill, a talent and need on one hand … and a fictional character who spun webs on his way to stopping bad things going on around him. So once again I found myself caught in his spun web. The perspective is definitely interesting and I’ll draw from the article to share it with you.
Lesson # 1 – With great power, comes great responsibility. And this was told to Peter Parker by someone who didn’t even know that he and Spiderman were one and the same.
Don’t leaders have responsibility to the well-being of all those inside and outside of the organization wherever it is they operate? And does it make any difference if you lead a single department in a big company or the entire, smaller organization? The fact remains with the job comes responsibilities that reach out in several directions. And regardless of how big or little the area or group you oversee, or the amount of power you wield, having responsibilities goes hand-in-hand with the job. Your success IS related to your willingness and ability to face up to them.
Lesson # 2 – Be who you are, do what you have to do. Recognize your power (abilities and talents) and use it. Spiderman gained his powers and skills because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. You weren’t. Your abilities and talents got you your job. It’s important to own our abilities & talents and use them in executing our role as a leader.
Lesson # 3 – You don’t have to go solo. Spider-Man doesn’t hesitate to reach out to other people in seeking the knowledge and help he needs to accomplish his mission. So, if our superhero readily admits he doesn’t have all the answers, it should then be easy for us to team up with regular folks who do have a needed skill. The message here is that effective leading does not mandate you go it alone or even that you have all of the answers. As an effective leader, reach out to those who do have what you need. Use them.
Is it hard for you to get your head around lessons from Spiderman? After all, he’s just a fantasy Superhero. Of course that’s your choice. However, as the Forbes article’s author indicates “… you never know if your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is going to be around when you need him. Comments?