9 Leadership Lessons from Superman (part 1)

Superman is a better leader than you think. He’s a symbol of hope that no matter what obstacles come his way, he will prevail. Superman’s leadership style has created the perfect balance between morality and ethics. Superman has been given many leadership lessons over the years and we can take those lessons with us as managers and leaders in the real world. Here are some of the key leadership lessons from Superman.

What Makes Superman Such a Great Leader?

Superman is one of the most famous superheroes in the world. He has many qualities that make him an exemplary leader. But what are Superman’s leadership traits?

Leadership is not about giving orders and expecting people to follow them blindly without question. It is about connecting with followers, getting them to trust you, and working together towards a shared goal. Leaders are not born. Even though one may say that Superman was already strong at birth, but for him to grow into the man (of steel) he is, leaders are made so developing these skills can be challenging but worth it!

Leadership is about Service

The leadership lessons we draw from Superman can help us become better leaders and serve our teams and organizations better. In reality, a service leader is a person who goes out of their way to do things for others. They give more than they take, and they set the example for others with their actions.

Superman’s story is a classic underdog tale: he was born on a planet that did not accept him, so he came to Earth to start a new life. Superman leadership is about service because “being human” for this superhero means fighting for the common good and living among us as one of us.

leadership lessons
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

Leadership is about Responsibility

Leadership is about responsibility and accountability. It is a way of leading that seeks to make a difference in the world, not just for oneself.

Leadership is about responsibility and accountability. Responsibility is accepting one’s own power and acknowledging that there are real consequences for what one does or does not do. Accountability means taking care of the people who depend on me, whether they’re my partners, my children, or my clients. Superman always uses his powers for good and in order to save others. He never uses his powers for personal gain or revenge because he knows that with great power comes great responsibility, except for the time when he was in contact with black or synthetic Kryptonite (Superman III & Smallville).

I’ve always been fond of this quote from Gandhi:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Leadership is about Listening

One of Superman’s powers is super hearing…say what? Super hearing. In one scene in Superman Returns, we could see Superman hovering over earth and listening in on different people. He then hones into a specific danger and swoops away to help. As a leader, listening is an important quality. We all know that listening is the best way to understand what an individual has to say, but it is also one of the most important skills in leadership. Listening provides leaders with insights into their team, their projects and organizational culture.

Leaders who listen are able to communicate better with their teams because they have a better understanding of what is troubling them or on their mind. This type of deep understanding of the human condition can help to create more engaged teams who want to work together and collaborate and see solutions for problems, rather than just complain about them.

Leadership is about Teamwork

Teamwork is the key to success. From sharing ideas and different perspectives to taking care of each other, teamwork is what makes superheroes successful.

Another leadership lesson from Superman is teamwork. He leads by example and teams up with others, whether the Justice League or everyday heroes, to make sure they share their strengths and abilities with the team. This way everyone gets a chance to contribute, succeed and all skills are used effectively in order to create better results for the team or even the community.

stay tuned for the sequel.


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