Top 5 Business & Life Lessons I learned from the Avengers
1. There is Long-Term Strategy, then there is Looooong-Term Strategy
When Iron Man was released in 2008 little did most of us know that we would witness character arcs and story lines intertwined so seamlessly that a decade of stand alone movies and franchises would actually become one large all encompassing epic. Now that the story is “over” we can see the glimpses hidden in those first movies.
Strategic planning is a corner stone of business, without it an organization flounders. In order to move forward you need to know where you are going. Now, your plan does not need to be as complex as the Avengers, but it is important to have a Vision (ha ha get it... vision) of what you want your organization to look like.
Planning for what is to come 5 or 10 years from now can seem overwhelming, especially as you start out, but keep in mind that people and plans evolve. Strategic planning is not a one and done exercise, but something that should be reviewed regularly. Keeping your Vision fresh will help motivate you to making it happen.
PS Vision prefers the fresh scent of lavender :)
2. Know Your Worth
“I know my value. Anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter."
- Peggy Carter
Peggy was an icon. She did not doubt her worth or her capabilities. Many of us strive towards this, but it is a struggle. Knowing you are worthy is at times difficult to believe (there is no Mjolnir test in the real world), but believe you should. Everyone brings something to the table. You might not see it clearly, or think it is too small, but it has value. To someone it means everything.
3. Always Plan That Your Plan Won’t Work
I use to love the show Mythbusters, and one of my favorite quotes from that show was Adam Savage’s “Failure is always an option”. The truth of the matter is that not all plans work, some need to be tweaked and others just need to be thrown out altogether. What we do in that moment is what separates true failure from a data point to learn from. There is a reason that Alpha and Beta testing exists - find the issues, go back and fix them, then try again.
Sometimes what seems like failure is really sending you in a better direction. In End Game if Steve, Tony, and Bruce had gotten the Teseract back as planned, Tony never would have talked with his father and Steve never would have seen Peggy. These two scenes had significant impact on the characters and what they would do later on.
4. Your Team is Your Best Asset
If you want to see a team work together watch any scene where all of the Avengers are together fighting a common enemy. They work together seamlessly, each knows their own role and what their purpose is, but they also know how to support their teammates to take it to the next level. Whether that’s Captain American & Thor bringing their might together, Tony & Rody back to back, or Nat & Clint doing anything, we can see that while each is strong in their own right, together they are formidable.
A team is more than just a collection of people. It is knowing that everyone with you is doing their part, trusts you to do yours, and all are ready to band together when needed.
5. Stand Up For What You Believe In
"Compromise where you can.
Where you can't, don't.
Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right.
Even if the whole world is telling you to move,
it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say 'No, you move'."