There are possibly thousands of blog posts already about the latest (or not so latest anymore) movie “The Avengers”. But for my own post, I’d like to focus on life and leadership lessons I’ve learned from earth’s mighty heroes, particularly from Captain America. The laboratory experiment, skinny soldier turned superhero has a lot to say about leadership and attitude.
On Proper Planning
Probably one of the most catchy phrases in the movie was when their plane was attacked and Iron Man was so furious to take revenge. Captain America tried to stop him by saying “wait, we need a plan of attack”. Then Iron Man replied, “I have a plan. Attack!” This reveals Iron Man’s impulsiveness when it comes to combat and it also reveals how Captain America values proper planning and strategy before making a move.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
There is always a drive to make an immediate and impulsive action especially when you’re in the hype of excitement or probably rage (taking immediate revenge). But it’s always best to sit down, think things through, and make a proper plan, before making your first move on any major decision.
On Actions before Words
There is a scene where Captain America tried to give orders to the chief police officer in the middle of chaos in New York City. The officer said, “Why the hell would we take orders from you?”. Then came a myriad of monsters and Captain America (C.A.) unintentionally demonstrated his combat skill, which wowed the policemen and eventually, the said chief officer obeyed C.A.’s instructions. At first, he was very hesitant to follow his command but when he saw him in pure action and was able to witness his ability, without a shadow of a doubt he executed C.A.’s orders.
There are times when people will not follow your command simply because you don’t get your hands dirty on the job. They don’t really see the action part on you. This is probably because you do more talking than doing. But start acting more than talking, and a little talk would be enough to make your team or group function. Someone said and I quote, ”Your action speaks so loudly that i cannot hear what you are saying.”. This is cliche already, but action always, always speak louder than words.
On Attitude and Skill
In the midst of chaos in New York City, the Avengers finally united in combating the monsters who are attacking the city. Captain America stepped up and led the team by giving instructions to Thor to use his lightning power to strike the portal, together with other specific instructions that he gave to the rest of the team. I find that simple scene quite fascinating because C.A. was able to mobilize these other heroes that are far more skillful than him (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Scarlet). This is probably because Nick Fury was so effective in motivating them to work together. But I think C.A.’s years of experienced leadership and great attitude during his army days was also a valuable contribution and became useful in that challenging situation. Although he cannot fly and he has other limitations, his leadership and his character rose above his limitations and became useful during that crisis.
You may not be the most skillful person in the team. You probably have some skill and others are way better than you. But if you have the right attitude, that alone will make a world of difference. Don’t get me wrong, skill cannot be disregarded at all and is very essential. But we all know what will happen if there’s only skill but teamwork and the right attitude is missing. It will be chaotic and nothing will be accomplished. But if a leader with a concrete character and a right attitude leads the team, expect excellence and success. It may not come soon, but it will come. John Maxwell formulated this concept this way:
Abilities + Attitudes = Result
Great Talent + Rotten Attitudes = Bad Team
Great Talent + Bad Attitudes = Average Team
Great Talent + Average Attitudes = Good Team
Great Talent + Good Attitudes = Great Team
Attitude made a world of difference to Captain America and the rest of the team. And it will make a world of difference in the real-life teams as well if skill and the right attitude is planted on every team mate.
I guess that’s it. This movie is just awesome. Can’t wait for Part 2. That’s all, folks. :)