Event Design

Unless You’re Superman, You Can’t Be Good at Everything

The recent "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" movie has me thinking about superheroes — and how weakness isn't necessarily a bad trait when it comes to teams.


One of the best things about the “Avengers” series (both the Marvel Comics and the films) is that it reminds us that even superheroes need a team. Each member of the group has his or her strengths — specific areas in which they are “super.” But like all of us, they also have vulnerabilities. And that’s when they can invariably count on their team to watch their back.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but in business, the most successful leaders seek out people who are not like themselves. People who make them uncomfortable. People who are better, smarter, and stronger than they are in specific areas.

Leaders surround themselves with a diverse team of strong performers who, when teamed with others, perform as insurmountable superheroes.

In fact, if we continue to borrow metaphors from Hollywood, think about how many films use this premise. In the “Dirty Dozen,” it’s a bunch of army misfits who become the crack team that infiltrates the enemy stronghold. Sure, they’re hard to manage. But they have unique skills.

In “Cool Runnings,” it’s a Jamaican bobsled team. Not your typical Olympic contenders, but they come through. You can probably name 10 more film Paint8[2][1]
examples without thinking too hard. The point is, none of us is perfect, nor should we expect to be.

The proven approach is to assemble a team of motivated people with diverse skills and perspectives. Include some nonconformists who are committed to the common good and you’ll be surprised by what happens. Unless you’re Superman, it’s the best way to beat the bad guys — or simply stay in front of the competition.

Follow Bob on Twitter @bpriestheck.



Bob Priest-Heck