Happy Batman Day!
Batman has been my favorite super hero since I was a kid and developed a love of comic books. Created by Bob Cane and Bill Finger in 1939, he has become The Dark Knight, The World's Greatest Detective, and Gotham's Protector.
Every September 16th we celebrate Batman Day, which is mostly a day for movie marathons and guys like me to think about if you really could build one of those grappler guns.
But there is more to the story - and Batman can help.
Organizations in every industry are struggling to develop their leadership teams and I have spent the last decade helping them overcome those challenges. Finding new and innovative ways to connect with young leaders is key - and to help them learn, embrace, and implement leadership strategies that will make them (and the organization) successful.
So while it's easy to snicker at a post on leadership lessons about Batman, it is also crucial that we use every club in our bag when it comes to helping our team grow.
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So let's dig in and talk about 3 leadership lessons we can take away from Batman.
Relentless Pursuit of Excellence
Bruce Wayne had nothing but his will and desire to fuel him on his journey after his parents were killed. He wasn't bullet proof, super strong, or able to fly - but he had the will to make a difference.
That meant he had to learn a variety of martial arts, train his body to the peak of human performance, and develop tools to help him on his journey. From his utility belt, to the bat-mobile, to his often bullet resistant suit, his technology was top of the line. He developed his problem solving skills and memory to make him the world's greatest detective and know the city streets, rooftops, and sewer systems down to the last inch.
Are you prepared with key priorities each day and are your teams doing the same? Preparation and knowing what matters most is key to ensuring your success as a leader.
Never stop learning, growing, and honing your craft as a leader. You must understand the overall goals for your business and ensure your team knows how they contribute to achieving them. This also means embracing innovation and technology when it makes sense for your business' - and understanding they are different things. Innovation can be something groundbreaking (both new or underused) and is often anchored by a tech solution, but be cognizant to never embrace new technology just for the want of something shiny.
Photo Courtesy Warner Bros/DC Comics (and Michael Keaton is still the best Batman)
The Importance of Teamwork
Batman was often depicted as a lone crusader on the rooftops of Gotham, but my favorite stories included his connections to others. Whether with Alfred, Batgirl, The Question, Commissioner Gordon, or The Justice League, when Batman found his collaborative side, he was at his best. He was also better equipped to take on larger challenges. In fact, my favorite storylines included his unlikely, uneasy friendship with Superman. In the end, they were a powerful force and even committed to ensure they kept each other in check should the need arise.
You can't do it alone as a leader. That is often the struggle new supervisors have as they transition from front line employee or individual contributor to leading a team.
New leaders must be nurtured to understand that working through others is now a part of their role rather than just being a "doer" to fulfill tasks themselves. While we all have duties to perform, great leaders execute on those while being master delegators and accountability partners. It is not about what you achieve yourself, but what the team achieves together. A well-rounded leader knows when to do, when to delegate, when to listen, and when to act.
Resilience and Purpose During Adversity
Bruce Wayne learned resilience at a young age. When his parents were killed and he was left on his own, it could have completely broken him, but quite the opposite happened. That served as a crucible that minted his commitment and purpose to clean up the streets of Gotham City. In fact, you might go so far as to say it created a burning obsession that was almost akin to Captain Ahab in its ferocity.
That is a double sided lesson - to find your inner strength to weather the tough times, but not become so obsessed you can't pivot when needed.
We all learned over the past 3 years that the ability to pivot with resilience was the hallmark of leadership and defined those who found success. It is about understanding your purpose and what problem you are solving, while remaining agile enough to change when the marketplace shifts. This is a curious dance between sticking to what you believe to be right in terms of your product and service, but knowing when it is time to make a change.
As we celebrate Batman Day, let's remember that we can learn about leadership from many places and share a vision in even more ways.
It is about developing yourself. And if you are a leader of leaders, is is about developing them as well.
Batman's enduring legacy not only entertains but also provides relevant leadership insights that can benefit individuals in a variety of leadership roles. Batman's dedication to excellence, teamwork, and purpose can serve as examples for leaders in any industry.
So, while you aren't battling the criminal underworld of Gotham City, you are navigating the challenges of leadership. Remember that Batman can inspire us to be better leaders and make a positive difference for our customers and our teams.
Happy Batman Day!
* Written by a real human, not A.I.
Tony is an award winning speaker and author on the topics of sales growth, customer experience, and leadership. Tony speaks to thousands annually and has been featured on ABC News and Fox News. He is available for business planning, motivational keynotes, leadership workshops, and employee service skills training.
Tony is the founder of Ignite Your Service and the Chief Experience Officer for 4xi Global Consulting.
Tony is available to help with your Customer Experience and Employee Engagement Strategies, inspirational keynote talks, team training and development, and executive leadership coaching.