Are you Clark Kent or Superman?
Who do you feel like most in your career….Clark Kent….or Superman?
I have been back at the gym lately and on one of the TV screens this week was “Man of Steel”. As I pushed through the uncomfortable and focused on the movie….rather than how badly I wanted to quit on the step machine…a scene at the beginning caught my attention. The setup is….Clark is frustrated with his parents and they are embroiled in an argument as they drive down the highway. All of a sudden they look up and realize there is a huge tornado coming towards them. As they scramble to get themselves and others on the road to safety – Clark’s father is insistent that he not reveal his super powers – it would put him at risk – the others wouldn’t understand. The end result is that his father is swept up into the tornado as Clark looks on. He knows he could have saved him in a flash…with ease…with his super powers but his father didn’t want it that way. As a result he perished – and Clark has to live with his decision.
I know it may be a stretch from that one snippet – but it begs the question….are there days where you act more like Clark Kent rather than Superman?
Let me ask you a few other questions….
1) Are there are things that you can do with great ease based on your time served and experience but you don’t always show case it because you would rather just blend in and not be found out?
2) Do you have leaders or others who don’t want you to reveal your “super powers” to others in certain circumstances and would rather have you watch as things happen rather than jumping in to solve them?
3) What happens to you when you take the risk of changing from Clark Kent to Superman and stick your neck out to help others or save a situation? Does it motivate you to go back to being Clark Kent or does it convince you to be Superman more often?
There may be times in our career where we make the choice between being Clark Kent and Superman. Where we know we have the energy, passion, capability and experience to jump in and help but our managers…our leaders…or others discourage it. Most often it is politically or emotionally motivated and does not make rational or commercial sense. When that happens….it can turn great teammates off from making a difference.
Whether we choose to be Clark Kent or Superman we have to be at peace with the decisions we make. It is tough…because if you have ever been in Superman mode before…it’s tough to go back to being Clark Kent. On the other hand…you have to listen to what others are looking for given the circumstances. Not every situation requires a Superman to solve it. All you can do is offer to utilize your superpowers when it is appropriate and don’t be afraid to shine. Not everyone will thank you for it…but life is a no regrets tour and the world doesn’t need any more people who just blend in and are afraid to take action…there are already a lot of them around!
Moral of the story….
Don’t listen to Clark’s Dad…reveal your superpowers…embrace some risk…it doesn’t matter if the others understand….they probably won’t…you are a superhero after all!
Leadership Questions of the Week for YOU: “Can you relate to the analogy of Clark Kent and Superman in your leadership journey?” “What are the 2-3 things that leaders do differently in Clark Kent mode versus Superman Mode?” “Do you believe that leaders need some Clark Kent mode to regroup from the pressure and stress of being Superman?” “How can YOU encourage or develop those around you to take the risk to show their superpowers from time to time rather than blending in?
Thanks for reading….and remember…YOU make a difference!
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