How running a startup is like the X-Men
There are days when we look at the work load that we have to get through and feel like throwing our hands in the air and yelling, “aaargh, but I’m only human.”
Yes, you are human. Being in business whether it is yours or you are an executive, there are also times when our jobs require us to transcend our human capacities and be a little more superhuman-like. Especially in the business world where we’re required to lead, persuade, manage and create, sometimes all at once, the obstacles created by our own human weaknesses (exhaustion, procrastination, mental blocks) can loom over us. But don’t let those keep you from doing a stellar job.
Next time you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed at work, (so, you know, tomorrow) just channel your inner XMEN character, adopt their mutant powers and get the job done. Here is which character you need to become depending on the role you have in the company.
Company Director – Professor X
As the leader of a business it’s your job to know how your employees are doing and adjust management styles at a moment’s notice. Much like Professor X, the founder of the X-Men, you kind of have to be a mind reader. Your job is to know how to control and influence the minds and attitudes of your employees to push them toward achieving success. Professor X-like abilities also come in to play with daunting tasks like predicting what direction the company should take in the face of big decisions. However, when you think like Professor X you’ll already see what’s coming. Isn’t that a relief?
Sales – Wolverine
Being in a sales position is tough. You have to be able to take no for an answer the majority of the time and still stay positive (that for every 100 no’s you’ll get a yes), work efficiently and always be aware of what is two steps in front of and behind you. Just like Wolverine, you have to be indestructible. With an accelerated healing process and increased agility, Wolverine represents the best qualities in a sales person: having a thick skin and being quick, agile and able regenerate after a knock back.
Marketing – Vulcan
Being an excellent marketer is all about knowing how to tap in to someone’s head and figuring out what makes them tick. Then you take those things and whip it up in to a creative package with the goal of convincing someone to buy your brand. While Vulcan did his methods of persuasion a little differently (like through psychic abilities and energy sources) you still have do a little manipulation of your own to get people invested in what your business is doing.
Management – Beast
While appearing to be merely a human, Beast possesses superhuman physical strength and brilliant intellect. And as member of management you may be more like Beast than you think. Bench-pressing 500 pounds isn’t what we’re alluding to here, but you do have to have the strength to carry your whole team. Every single person you oversee is your responsibility when it comes to keeping the business running smoothly, and to manage that kind of workload takes intelligence. You’re the main connector between the C-suite of your company and all the employees who are the cogs of the machine making the products and carrying out services, which is a beast of a job.
No matter what our job title may be, it’s true that in this age of employment many of us wear multiple superhero capes. Next time you’re presented with a challenge or feel like you’re staring to the top of an insurmountable obstacle take a step back and refocus. You’re stronger, smarter, tougher and more adaptive than you think. Find your superpower, or character, and own it!