Success Tips from Batman
Last week marked the 80th birthday of a pop culture legend - Batman. Over the past eight decades since he first appeared in a DC Comic, Batman has appeared in comics, television, movies, toys, games, apparel and more.
Batman also serves as an important role model in the workplace. I initially surmised he could be a role model for everything you needed to know at work as a chapter in my first book, Promotions Are Not Served At The Deli Counter. In the eleven years since that book was published, I presented my Batman principles countless times at conferences, seminars, and workshops. In celebration of his recent eightieth birthday, here is everything you need to know:
It Starts with Hard Work
Unlike most superheroes, Batman possess no special powers. He did’t arrive from a different planet, survive a freak accident or experiment, or was bit by a bug. His success was dependent upon intellect, reasoning, use of technology, and dedication.
Your success is the result of the work you put in as well. Individuals who possess a desire to improve, a willingness to change, and aptitude to learn something new each and every day are the ones who ultimately experience success.
You Cannot Survive with Only One Tool
One of Batman’s most recognizable accessories is his bat utility belt. The belt contains multiple tools, each serving a purpose. Batman relies on the different tools in his belt to overcome obstacles and achieve his goals.
Employees must possess different tools to succeed in the workplace as well. Employee tools can be grouped into three main categories: characteristics such as integrity, friendliness, and engaging; skills such as effective communication, time management, and delegation, and life-long learning which includes previous experience, and education.
Determine Your Goal; Create Your Path
The legend of Batman began when a young Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents killed during a mugging. He dedicated the rest of his life to fighting crime and helping others.
While we tend to judge ourselves by or intentions, everyone else judges us by our results. We are surrounded by goals. Some are task-based such as completing a report. Others are performance-based such as increasing revenue. Individuals also have goals which are career-based such as achieving a promotion. Regardless of the type, you cannot achieve your goal without creating a plan for success and taking action.
Develop a Network to Help Win Your Battles
While Batman may have been the marquee name, he relied on his vast network to be successful. Robin helped him battle the criminals. Commissioner Gordon alerted him of situations which required his attention. Lucious Fox was responsible for inventing the equipment he used, and Alfred help him stay organized.
Being successful at work requires a network of people as well. The network should be diverse people whose strengths compliment your weaknesses, and offer different thoughts, opinions, and ideas than you. Leadership expert John Maxwell says you should surround yourself with “people who think differently than you do, as long as they share the same values as you.”
Stay Fresh and Embrace Change
Batman has experienced different incarnations over the past eighty years. It was important for the character to evolve over the years to stay relevant and have continued success. The campy Adam West version that was a hit on television in the 1960s would likely not be taken seriously today.
As an employee, it is important to embrace change in your workplace. Employees who are stuck doing things the same old way are bound to be left behind by others who have innovated to be more efficient, profitable, and successful.
When crime was occurring, Batman was there. Commissioner Gordon knew whenever he displayed the Bat-signal, he could depend on Batman to come through to save the day.
People are depending on you as well. As an employee, you always want to keep commitments and do what you say you are going to do. Actions speak louder than words. Not performing to the expectations of the company, your manager, or your own by the promises you make will destroy credibility. Just like the movies, when credibility is compromised, nobody wants to return to see the sequel.