Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

capesWonder Woman.  Spider-man.  Incredible Hulk.  Which superhero was your favorite growing up?  We are all familiar with this story line:  the dreaded Joker tries to take over the world…..but not on Batman’s watch.  Batman steps in to save the day – throwing all the right punches, driving a fancy batmobile and always including his awesome sidekick, Robin.  His bravery, courage and leadership are admired by all.

Each day I do my best to fit in 30 minutes of good old fashion play time with my children.  Tuesday night it was time to morph into Superheroes.  We put on our capes and saved the world 10x in a matter of minutes.  The play time got me thinking about the real crusaders in the world.  Those change agents that are impacting business and impacting lives.  I’d like to take a few minutes to highlight stories I’ve recently witnessed where “ordinary” people are doing “extraordinary” things to positively impact our world – and you’ll notice none of them wear capes.

Business Change Agents

Once you get a taste of what good looks like, you can’t help but sink your teeth into it and commit 100%.  Go all in.  Take the time needed to do it right.  A friend once told me there are two ways to do things.  You can either 1) take the time to do it right or 2) do it again.  Who has the time to do it again – especially if we know how to do it right the first time, even if it requires more upfront leg-work?  Hardly anyone.  Although I must admit, there are times I can be quite impatient and shortcuts are appealing.  Especially when it comes to generating new business at work.  When I know an idea is destined to be a homerun, it can be challenging to wait-it-out and let the results happen….even if it takes 6-9 months to produce.

This week I was reminded how important it is to have patience when working on demand generation campaigns.  A colleague on our team was awarded a B2B Innovation award for her effort and results on an account based marketing program.  The program took several months to yield initial results, but has since served as the poster-child of inspiration for developing similar programs.  The high-roller making this idea a reality is a super star that deserves a superhero cape.  Her willingness to plan, create and execute – and then be patient, makes her a change agent we can all continue to learn from.  Give her a cape.

Educators Sharpening the Minds of Our Future

My middle child started kindergarten this month {insert a big boo-hoo here}.  While she has been enrolled in pre-school and daycare previously, all-day learning is something new and unfamiliar to her.  Learning how to take control of her choices was one of the first lessons taught in her class last week.  She came home with “self-control” bubbles and couldn’t wait to show me what they meant or symbolized.  Mrs. B put together a memorable learning exercise that is beginning to teach 5-year old’s how they are in the driver seat and as a result are in control of their body, brain and choices.  The world can use more self-control and owning up to the choices we make — and for that I see superhero traits all around this kindergarten teacher making a difference in my daughter’s life and the lives of 18 other littles.   Give her a cape.

Being married to an educator I tend to follow many educators on Twitter.  If you are ever in need of true inspiration for a quick pick-me-up, start following teachers on Twitter.  Mrs. L shared her class constitution that was written and amended by her 5th grade students.  “We the People of Mrs. L’s class, in order to form a more successful classroom, establish trust, ensure respect, promote positivity, and ensure that we love our passengers, do ordain and agree to this constitution.”  The constitution goes on to include four Articles outlining their commitment to one another.  If teaching our future leaders about the importance of respect and being positive isn’t worthy of a cape, I’m not sure what is.  I responded to her tweet with a comment around how lovely it is to see her incorporating core values into her classroom and gaining buy-in, when I see many businesses attempt this with little success.  Giver her a cape.

Working Parents and Stay at Home Parents

Have you ever seen someone move from the board room to the ball field in a matter of hours?  It is quite impressive.  I once saw a father/executive secure a deal that made the team hit quota all while adding a renewed sense of confidence and loyalty amongst the team.  Shortly after closing the deal he hustled out the door to coach his son’s little league game.  He has his priorities in check.  He loves what he does in the boardroom and equally, or likely more, loves bringing leadership and teamwork values to the ball field. Leading by example both professionally and personally is worthy of a cape.

If you’ve never seen a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) in full swing, you are missing out on a huge learning opportunity.  Some of my inner tribe have chosen to pause their careers and be a SAHM.  Juggling a household, multiple schedules (that often compete with something), cleaning, feeding…..and the list goes on – is no easy feat.  My husband and I both work and we tag team nearly everything.  When either of us is traveling solo, it ain’t easy doing the single parent thing.  But how do so many of my SAHM friends make it look so easy?  They are organized.  They are fearless.  They get sh*t done.  They are excellent negotiators (getting those kids to down that broccoli takes serious negotiation skills at times).  Don’t let those yoga pants and razorback t’s fool you – I guarantee a cape is hidden in their hall closet.

My son’s favorite superhero is Spidey and this quote is something each crusader, I have the pleasure of knowing, lives and breathes – whether they realize it or not.  “WHEN THE MOB AND THE PRESS AND THE WHOLE WORLD TELL YOU TO MOVE, YOUR JOB IS TO PLANT YOURSELF LIKE A TREE BESIDE THE RIVER OF TRUTH, AND TELL THE WHOLE WORLD: ‘NO. YOU MOVE.’” —AMAZING SPIDER-MAN



4 thoughts on “Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

  1. Great read. My wife is a SAHM and she rocks. I couldn’t do it and I don’t know how she does it.

    My non-Cape wearing superhero is my dad. We had an unplanned lunch yesterday just because I called with 30 minutes free. He dropped the project he was consumed with just to catch up
    Nothing judgemental about the short notice. Just took time to sit and talk about nothing in particular. I needed it.


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