This is part 7, the last and final part of my series on Incredible Leadership. Click the links to read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
This post is dedicated my super team – to everyone who has helped become the leader I am today. There are too many to mention by name, but if you are reading this, you know who you are. I couldn’t be The IncrediDad without you.
The Avengers and Batman both started out as solo acts. Most of what you probably remember from their stories is centered around their isolation. The Avengers all come from their own heroic stories, Batman lurks in the shadows of the night. Both of them seem like loners, or are they? Even superheroes can use the help and support of a team and so do you IncrediDads! That brings us to my final Incredible leadership lesson.
Just like all you IncrediDads out there, Batman and The Avengers seem incredibly strong and capable on their own but I don’t think they would have accomplished half as much without their super team. A super team is the support network that every hero needs, or “the guy in the chair” as Spider-Man’s friend Ned call it. Because of these super teams we are able to confront challenges that would have been impossible to defeat on our own.
Batman cruises Gotham in his Batmobile, waiting for a criminal to jump out of the shadows. But where does he take the Batmobile when it breaks down? Who stitches him up when Catwoman slices through his armor? Those duties fall on his trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth. And who is Batman‘s eyes and ears on the streets when he can’t be there? Who switches on the Bat signal? That’s a job for Commissioner Gordon. And what happens when a job is too big for Batman alone? Robin flies in to help. What happens when the job is too dangerous for the Dynamic duo alone? Batgirl rolls up on her Batcycle. The Dark Knight even blurs the line between good and evil from time to time when he enlists the help of Catwoman.
The Avengers couldn’t do it alone either. While each of them were truly mighty, an evil mega-villain like Loki, Ultron, or Thanos was too powerful for any one of them to take on alone. Even as a team, they still needed a “guy in a chair” to keep them focused. Actually, they had three. First, there was Nick Fury of S.H.E.I.L.D. who brought them all together as a team. Then there’s Maria Hill, Fury’s second in command. She calls the missions, provides back-up, and keeps everyone focused. Most importantly, there was Agent Phil Coulson, the point of contact for the Avengers during their early days. During the Attack on the Helicarrier, Agent Coulson was killed by Loki. His death gave the Avengers the push they needed to band together and stop the Chitauri invasion. He wasn’t just a support for the Avengers, he was their symbol, a cause they could all rally around.
Super teams unite so that they can rally around a common purpose, like protecting the world from evil or raising a happy, healthy, baby. They’re going to be people who won’t think twice when you go to them for help. When you have to stop the Joker from taking over Gotham City or prevent Loki from destroying New York, they are there to watch Boy Wonder.
Maybe you are the IncrediReader who is applying these Incredible Leadership lessons to work instead of parenthood. Think of your team at work. Who are the people you go to for advice, to run an idea past, or to keep you from looking like an idiot infront of everyone at that important staff meeting. They are your personal Alfreds’ and Phil Coulsons’ and believe me, life would be so much harder without them.
Because we live so far away from our families, Bex and I have built an unconventional super team. Within arms reach, we have close friends, a great daycare, and an Incredible babysitter. From a distance we have the most important members of our team, our own parents. We call them every day for advice, help, tears, and laughs. Not only do they provide back-up, but they’ve taught us what it means to be part of a truly Incredible Family.
So this is the team you are leading IncrediDads. Treat them with respect, talk to them with integrity, and be the Incredible Leader that your sidekick needs you to be.