Business Advice—Avengers Edition!
History Time: We have Daredevil to thank for the Avengers.
The first issue about an acrobatic, blind attorney missed its launch date of 1963. Meaning Marvel needed a pinch hitter.
The recent success of DC Comics’ Justice League, plus the ease of assembling a whole team with pre-existing characters, inspired Marvel to produce its own super team. The result: The Avengers #1.
Now, 55 years and countless movies, TV shows, and comics later, the Avengers continue to be earth’s mightiest heroes.
So what tips can we learn from these insanely powerful and comedic superheroes?
Full disclosure for die-hard comic fans: We mostly reference the movies. Don’t @ us.
Tip #1: Welcome a diversity of perspectives.
Loki: The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that. What have I to fear?
Tony Stark: The Avengers. That's what we call ourselves; we're sort of like a team. "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" type thing.
(from The Avengers)
The Avengers have three things in common. First, they all have some super skill or power. Second, they all look AMAZING in skin-tight outfits. Finally, they have a shared interest in saving humanity.
Beyond these things, they don’t have too much in common. Their ranks include mutants, humans, AI, mythical gods, and aliens. Yet, their diverse backgrounds and experiences spark vibrant ideas, strategies, and approaches. These different perspectives create a talented team that serves up results.
The Lesson? Yes, people sink businesses—so avoid a complacent culture. Create a safe environment for discussion and decision-making that welcomes input and constructive comments from contributors with a wide variety of experiences and perspectives.
Tip # 2: Share skills.
Rocket Raccoon: You speak Groot?
Thor: Yes, they taught it on Asgard. It was an elective.
(from The Avengers: Infinity War)
Even the mightiest heroes benefit from new tricks. The Avengers seriously kick butt, but sharing and acquiring new skills boosts their abilities to all-new levels. Black Panther and Shuri showcase some pretty cool tech in Avengers: Infinity War. The same goes for the Hulk (in Bruce Banner form) and Spider-Man, who both rocked new suits and enhanced capabilities thanks to Iron Man.
Just like Thor speaking Groot, new skills encourage stronger bonds and unity.
The Lesson? Encourage learning—allot time and reimbursements for acquiring new skills or following passions. By sharing skills and enabling employees to add new ones, you build a thriving business.
Tip #3: Choose words thoughtfully.
Iron Man: Who's speaking?
Ant-Man: It's your conscience. We don't talk a lot these days.
(from Captain America: Civil War)
Quiz: What comic book icon coined the name “Avengers”? Captain America? Nick Fury?
Got your answer?
It was the Wasp.
That’s right. Also known as Janet van Dyne, the Wasp nailed the name on her first try. By suggesting “Avengers,” the superhero known for changing her size, flying, and blasting created a moniker that perfectly described the purpose of the team. The other heroes enthusiastically adopted the name and the rest is history.
The Lesson? Words matter. Even more so—people have to understand your words. Communicate with a purpose and keep it simple and meaningful.
Tip #4: Share the big picture and goals.
Black Panther: Yibambe!
(The Avengers: Infinity War)
The Avengers assemble for a reason. They battle "the foes no single superhero can withstand.” Whether it’s Kang the Conqueror or Thanos, they fight with a purpose.
A lack of shared goals kills purpose. This powerhouse of heroes wouldn’t battle an insignificant threat. The Wakandans and Avengers unite to hold back a major alien attack because they understand what’s at stake.
The Lesson? Ensure employees and teammates understand vision, mission, and goals for the company. Communicate what you’d like to accomplish and how. With a shared purpose, everyone can work together.
Finally, remember to keep an eye on details. You don’t want errors building and building until you can no longer correct them.
As Iron Man says when he spots an anomaly on the bride of their helicarrier: “That man is playing Galaga! Thought we wouldn't notice. But we did.”
Now, we’re starving. Let’s get some shawarma.