Leadership Lessons From Captain America
Leadership Lessons From Captain America
By Mark Wager
Captain America: Civil War, the biggest movie of the year has hit the cinemas and has recorded the fifth biggest box office opening weekend in history. In the three Captain America and the two Avengers movies Captain America has effortlessly become the leader of the Marvel universe, he's the hero that other heroes look up to, the leader of leaders.
While none of us will ever get the superhuman powers that Captain America has we can however become a superhero leader. If you ever wanted to become a leader like Captain America all you need to do is follow these core leadership principles.
Stand for something
When Steve Rogers was given the mantle of Captain America, the intent was that he became a symbol, something for people to believe in and unite behind. When Captain America resurfaced in the modern world, he saw how much had changed, yet despite the complexities of politics he found himself in his values hadn't changed. He always stood for freedom and that had remained consistent.
The psychology of leadership is often misunderstood. People don't follow people they follow what they stand for. Human beings are instinctively drawn to be part of groups. It's part of our survival mechanism to be part of a pack. The way people select the packs that they want to be part of is determined by a sense of shared beliefs. If you want to be an effective leader then make it clear what you stand for because if you do then not only will people follow you but people who do will believe in the same thing that you believe in.
Show loyalty to get loyalty
Captain America is loyal to his childhood friend Bucky Barnes and without hesitation Captain America takes the most difficult path and makes decisions which are against his own personal interest because he places the needs of his friend ahead of his own. In the face of such a strong demonstration of loyalty, people who highly value the quality of loyalty are influenced to such an extent that they will follow Captain America into battle.
No matter what you say it's what you do that counts. If you want loyalty from your team then your team needs to see and believe that you are loyal to them. A quality like loyalty can't be demanded, when all you receive is lip service. Loyalty will often be mentioned but when it's tested and when it's required you will find it doesn't exist. The only way that you get loyalty is by earning it and the only currency that loyalty demands is when you as a leader are loyal to your team.
It's not the position it's the person behind the position that counts
He may have the title of Captain but it's the fact that he is Steve Rogers that counts. In the first Captain America movie the First Avenger none of the other soldiers respected him when he first became Captain America, it was only when he proved himself in battle that he won everyone's respect and became the leader he knew he could be.
Leadership is not a title it's an attitude. Regardless of your position within an organisation or your job title you have the ability to influence people and to make a difference. While leaders influence people great leaders influence the influential. If you want to make a big difference in your team then focus on your hidden leaders the people without a title who influence others because this magnifies your own leadership influence.
Be prepared for action
In the movie, Captain America Civil War, Captain America talks to Iron Man, Tony Stark and says "I'm sorry Tony, if I see a situation pointed south, I can't ignore it, sometimes I wish I could," to which Tony replied, "no you don't." Captain America is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, whether it's crashing his plane in the movie First Avenger, fighting against SHIELD in Winter Solider and becoming a fugitive in Civil War, the Captain has always been prepared to do whatever it takes regardless of the sacrifice required.
For leaders, speeches can inspire people but it's action that creates changes. You don't have to wear a red, white and blue uniform in order to become a leader like Captain America, all you have to do is to ask yourself some questions . Are you willing to put the needs of other people ahead of your own? Are you willing to stand for something rather than someone? Are you willing to be everyday the kind of person that you want following you? Are you willing to do what needs to be done without being told? If you can answer yes to those four questions then you to can be a superhero leader.
About the Author:
Mark Wager is the leader that other leaders go to in order to become better. An Author & Keynote speaker Mark designs and facilitates leadership development programmes. Mark also offer individual coaching to a few selective individuals who are passionate about success. Follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook for daily inspiration or if you have a passionate drive for success then contact Mark via the enquiry form to see how he can help you.
Posted: Monday 16 May 2016