Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

What kinds of serious organizational leadership concepts can be learned by watching movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Authors Sy Islam and Gordon Schmidt argue that there are a lot of leadership lessons to be learned. There are so many lessons, in fact, that they teamed up to write a book about the subject entitled Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the MCU.

Recently I has a chance to talk with Sy and Gordon about their book, about which characters from the MCU were the best leaders (spoiler alert: neither Iron Man nor Captain America made the cut… although there was an interesting spin off to this conversation that revolved around Thanos!) and what specific steps you can take to bring leadership through the eyes of the MCU into your organizations. Plus, there’s an ultra-nerdy trivia battle at the end of our podcast which mixes leadership as well as Marvel trivia.

Continue reading

How can we help new managers transition from their individual contributor mindset?

One of the most difficult transitions in the working world is going from an individual contributor to a people manager for the first time. Where once you were told what to do and were friends with your colleagues, now you’re asked to supervise those friends and you’re responsible for their success, growth and development.

Too many organizations don’t adequately prepare new managers to make this transition, promoting their employees into positions of higher responsibility and authority because they were good at their job (not usually because they were good at managing people).

Nancy and Mike Komola, the principals at FitwellHR, spent some time talking about why they think this is such a tough transition, and how we can better support new people managers.

Continue reading

How “weird” or “novel” should leadership development training be?

At the end of this month, the Association for Talent Development will be hosting their annual International Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City. During the conference, Amy Posey, CEO and Chief Weirdo at Super*Mega*Boss will be facilitating a workshop entitled Why Weirdness Works: Using Novelty to Create Better Learning Experiences in Leadership Development.

Recently I had a chance to talk with Amy about this concept of “using weirdness”, and she not only shared a little about her approach, but also a little about the research behind why a novel approach can be extremely effective.

Continue reading