I don’t usually watch a lot of television, but I have recently had an opportunity to practice a little escapism. I watched “The Green Lantern” a short time ago, and no, it was not the best on-screen adaptation of a comic book legend. I grew up reading Marvel and DC comics for entertainment, so I “know” most of these guys well.
In any super-hero story, there are always lessons that we can walk away with, once we get our heads past the predictability of the adaptation and the dialog, the customary under-story and back-story, as well as the attempt at over-the-top 3D special effects. Green Lantern is no different.
Here are some walking around business and life lessons from the green guy.
1. Fear is normal. Your job is to overcome it, understand it, walk through it, work through it, figure out how to step around it. Whatever it is you do to keep putting one foot in front of the other… do that! You can try to convince yourself that you fear nothing, but we all do. Learn from it and use it.
2. Sometimes you must stand alone for what you know is the right thing. The right choices are not always going to be the most popular choices. But, you know in your heart of hearts what you stand for, what you believe in and what you must ultimately do.
3. Pay attention when people are trying to tell you something. Even if you think that you already know everything, always be respectful and receptive. You might actually learn something new, or see a new perspective on a problem that you have been dealing with. There is always something to learn in just about every situation.
4. Get training. There is an old adage that, “great leaders are readers.” Never stop learning. Never stop honing and improving yourself and your skills. Be the best! Leave no doubt that you are the best version of you all the time. Stay at the cutting edge of your field. Attend classes, read books, write, talk to other people in the industry, meet new people in other industries.
5. The bigger you are, the harder you will fall… into the sun. No, you won’t fall actually into the sun like Parallax. But, if you let your ego guide you rather than your heart and a little bit of common sense, you will fall. Hard! And, alone.
6. Evil exists; never doubt it. Don’t be naïve, and don’t be stupid. Not everyone you encounter wants to be a member of your personal fan club. Some people are trying to get fans of their own. And, unfortunately, there are people in the world who are never happy about the success of another.
7. Evil, when it comes to your door, will probably look a lot like the good stuff. Don’t get it twisted. Not everyone who smiles and gives you a glad hand, wants to see you succeed. Another old adage, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
8. Be the leader. We are often chosen or thrust into leadership, even when we do not actively seek it. We are all leaders, even if we only lead ourselves through the day. But, people follow your lead and are interested in what you have to say. This is especially true when you can demonstrate that you understand the big picture, can make plain the greater vision, can nudge people back on course, and can often do all of these things without the benefit of a title. Don’t take people’s follow-ship for granted. Be a considerate and conscientious leader.
9. Peace and justice are a leader’s responsibility. With or without a title, you stand for what is right. You are a peacemaker by nature, and a peace keeper by choice. Everyone should leave your presence feeling that they have been served and treated well; even if they didn’t “win.” Use your leadership influence wisely.
10. You character is always on display. People are always checking out what you do, both on and off the job. They are looking to see if you have core values and if your adhere to what you say you believe, all the time.
11. You have to wear the uniform. Most of our jobs come with some type of “uniform.” When you were much younger and more concerned with “doing your own thing,” it was okay to continually buck against the system. Now that you work, whether for yourself or for someone else, you are expected to have a certain image. Your image no longer simply reflects your personal sense of fashion or style choices, but they are symbols of who you are, what you think of yourself, and are representative of your business affiliations.
I had a recent event for work, and some polo-style shirts were provided for us by the event planners. I thought the shirt made me look like I should be on my way to work at Micky D’s, but I wore it anyway. It was the corporate image dress of the day. And, ultimately we all should show ourselves to be team players, even if we are the leader of the team. Right?
12. Don’t waste what you have been given. We are all tremendously blessed and graced. You have much to contribute to the world. Don’t sit on your gifts, and don’t wait forever to use them. A world that needs changing and needs your help is waiting for you to “arrive.”
13. Get your own motto or mantra. Even it is not formalized in your mind, everyone lives by some kind of oath or truth or mantra. Here is Green Lantern’s:
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
Maybe you can use this one to help forge your own mission statement. Live long and prosper. Oh, that’s someone else…
Who is your favorite super hero, and what valuable life or leadership lesson did you learn from them?
Photo Credit: uubergeek via Compfight cc
photo credit: http://www.greenwallpaper.org/backgrounds/Green-Lantern-2011-413286.jpeg