« Translate the techno-babble | Main | 10 levels of intimacy in today's communication »

Kneel before Zod

Last week, I posted an item about leading a small group discussion - lessons learned from watching the "breakfast" scene in Pulp Fiction. Here's another movie-inspired leadership "lesson". Well, sort of:

A few weekends ago, I found Superman II in my Netflix "Recommended" instant queue, and decided to watch the movie - but skipping past all the "boring" Superman and Lois story, focusing only on the bits with General Zod. Viewed from this angle, Superman II is the heartwarming tale of Zod's arrival on planet Houston to bring peace (notice how wherever he goes, people attack him for no reason - until he moves into the White House) only to be usurped by a smart-aleck orphan from his home planet. It is also a lot shorter.

general-zod.jpg There are some good leadership lessons in there, too. Just watch Zod. Turns out, he's not that bad, and has some sound advice to follow:

  1. Support your staff development. For example, when one of your senior leadership team develops the ability to set snakes on fire with her eyes, celebrate her achievement.

  2. Delegate tasks effectively. Don't feel you must take down every helicopter on your own.

  3. Communicate your vision in simple terms. And you have to admit "Vengeance on the son of Jor-El" is pretty straightforward.

  4. Be careful of subordinates who try to undermine your authority. They may double-cross you when you least expect it.

  5. Be clear in your desired results. "Kneel before Zod" sets a pretty clear expectation, and others will know when they have done it right.