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Leadership – And Captain America

Leadership – And Captain America

I felt compelled to digress from my social media and sports analogy theme because I enjoy the occasional “good character and leadership” thread. Of course, observing good character and leadership can lead to success with our social media efforts! FYI, I’ll give you a Captain America MOVIE SPOILER ALERT right now, also.
My nephew and I saw Captain America this last week.  I enjoy all of the Marvel Comic movies because I was an avid comic book reader growing up. The Captain America movie may have been lighter on the effects, but the high integrity of the main character came shining through…and I’m a big fan of integrity! Here are some of the character traits we could all model in our daily lives:

Toughness and Sense of Duty - The main character, Steve Rogers, is an undersized young man who spends a good deal of time getting beaten up by bullies. However, he never backs down because he knows that opens the door for more bullying. He also has an incredible sense of duty and obligation to serve in the war, so he keeps trying to enlist. He did not do this out of bravado. He earnestly wanted to fulfill his duty as a young American. Moral – Don’t back down in tough situations (not to be confused with a misguided “win at all costs” attitude) and nurture a Sense of Duty to become a better spouse, parent, friend, employer or employee.

Thinking Outside the Box – Not everyone can be a poster child for athletics. However, sometimes having overwhelming strengths in one area can lead to weaknesses in other areas. We have all heard the expression “when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail“. At one point in the movie, the drill sergeant challenges recruits to capture the flag at the top of a pole. Everyone scrambles to climb the pole even though the sergeant states that nobody ever captures the flag. Steve Rogers observes the spectacle, waits for everyone to give up, then calmly goes over and pulls the pin at the bottom of the flag pole. The flag pole comes down, and he calmly “captures the flag” while it is lying on the ground within easy reach! Moral – Always look at a problem from multiple angles versus only from the standpoint of your strengths.

Protector – At one point in the movie, the commanding officer wants to prove to the doctor who the real soldier is. He has seen this soldier out-perform everyone during training. As a test, he throws a fake grenade among the recruits, and everyone scatters…including his ideal soldier! Steve Rogers thinks as a protector and covers the grenade with his own body. Moral – Sometimes the best comes out of us when we put others’ needs and safety above our own.

Magnify Your Good Traits – The doctor in the movie spotted Steve Rogers because he saw a rare wholesomeness. He wasn’t looking for strength because he knew his secret formula would magnify all traits. If a person already had strength, but was selfish, bullying or self-serving, then the negative traits would be magnified just as much. Instead, he focused on a recruit who was a self-sacrificing protector with a big heart and strong sense of duty. Moral: Each day we have the opportunity to focus on the good and make decisions or model behavior that could have a positive impact. Doing so could make us heroes to the people closest to us…or perhaps to a complete stranger.

Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think? If you could magnify any personal trait, what would it be?

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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2 Comments

  1. Love this!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Cheri. It was a digression from the sports analogy to talk comic hero and leadership ;)