I saw Captain America; Winter Soldier last Thursday at one of the advance showings here in Ohio. It got me thinking about how we entrepreneurs deal with our most pressing challenges today. Captain America has been around for over 70 years and his popularity is still on the rise. Want proof? The movie had a $92 million opening weekend. Obviously, many people want to learn what Captain America has to say. So why is he so appealing to several generations of movie and comic book fans?
Captain America was created during World War II and has had many different writers and illustrators telling his story over the years. I believe he has three keys strengths that make him as popular today as he was when he was first created.
He knows what he stands for is Captain America’s first strength. He believes in the values that have made our country great. He believes in hard work and strong character to make a man or women successful in their lives. He understands that where your focus goes, so goes your energy. He focuses on getting the critical things done right from the start.
The second strength Captain America possesses is choosing his friends and allies wisely. He chooses his friends and team members based on how effective they are at what they do and that they do what it takes to meet their shared goals. He understands that many friendships and relationships become stronger when people work together in challenging situations. He also believes that a leader must have the ability to pick and develop their own team members if they hope to achieve great things together. This doesn’t mean he won’t work with others, but he makes a practice of understanding others’ strengths and contributions to his team.
Captain America’s third strength is that he knows what he values costs something to be upheld. He knows that many times bullies aren’t satisfied with what they have but continue pushing until someone chooses to stand up to them. He doesn’t believe in backing away from a confrontation even when there might be limited chance of success. He keeps moving to towards his goals and objectives. He pushes and prods and does everything required to get the best performance out of everyone, including himself. He understands his own values and those of the other people on his team. This allows him to achieve impossible things in comparison to other leaders with similar organizations, He assumes people do the best they can and then do some more if motivated correctly.
What would Captain America share with entrepreneurs today? He would tell them a story about a time when the world faced people who want to control others out of fear. He would remind us that what we do every day means more than anything our government can provide us with. He would remind us that inspiration and perspiration can help every day managers become extraordinary leaders.
Finally, I think he would remind us that the values we embrace today have an impact our families and friends for future generations. For this reason, we should choose carefully what we value and what we are willing to compromise for short term results. He would remind us that the reason we are here is because other generations made the sacrifice of both life and treasure to keep our nation free. We must embrace these gifts and challenges if we wish to remain the most blessed country in the world.
See you here next week.