The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released this past Friday. As it was a comic book based movie, my wife and I had to see it opening weekend.
We love these types of movies! Superheroes, action, web-slinging. Could there be a better date night movie? I think not.
But that’s besides the point. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 offers many leadership lessons if you look closely enough, and that’s what I love about pop culture these days.
If we’re looking for leadership lessons, we can find them anywhere.
With that, I noticed at least 12 leadership lessons and quotes we can take away from the new Amazing Spider-Man movie. True believer, wait no more as I reveal these leadership lessons next!
But, before you read on, beware faithful leader, there may be spoilers contained in the lessons below.
1. What we believe we know may not be the truth: Peter Parker always believed his mother and father dropped him off to his Aunt May and Uncle Ben with no reason. He never knew why he was abandoned as a child.
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we learn the true reason Richard and Mary Parker left Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Richard was a scientist working for Oscorp. When Richard realized what was happening at the company, he knew he had to get away. This meant leaving his son behind in capable hands.
Peter learns this truth in a fantastic moment in the movie in the Roosevelt subway station. And then his whole world changed, again.
2. The little people matter: Early in the movie, we see Peter Parker as Spider-Man helping various New York citizens. One those was a young boy being bullied by schoolmates.
Spider-Man takes the time out of his crime fighting day to swing in, stop the bullies, and fix the boy’s wind turbine science project.
This small act of kindness by Spider-Man comes full circle at the end of the movie in a touching scene.
Remember, everyone matters!
3. “I like to think Spider-Man gives people hope.” – Peter Parker
Great leaders give others hope. They inspire others to become better and do more. The same thing Spider-Man did in the Amazing Spider-Man
4. People will misunderstand you: A huge part of the Spider-Man mythos is the way different people view Spider-Man.
The general public typically sees Spider-Man as a hero. While others, like J. Jonah Jameson, view Spider-Man as a menace to society.
You will have people who love you. You will also have people who misunderstand you. Don’t let those who misunderstand you derail you from completing what you were meant to do.
5. “I just wanted everybody to see me…” – Max Dillon/Electro
Max was an employee of Oscorp who was often overlooked and had his ideas stolen and passed off as someone else’s. Max always felt he wasn’t being seen. At least until he become Electro.
As a leader, your team wants to be seen and recognized. Stop overlooking them and stealing their thunder. Instead, put wind in their sails by praising them and letting them know they’ve done a good job.
6. Our choices have consequences: Gwen Stacey tells Peter that she’s made the choice to come to his rescue. No one can change her mind. She’s settled on it.
After arriving on the scene of his epic battle with Electro, Gwen helps save the day. It also puts her in mortal danger.
Her choice had a consequence. Your choices have consequences. Be willing to pay the price when you make a choice.
7. “Everyone has a part of themselves they hide, even from the people they love most. And you don’t have forever, none of us ever do.” – Aunt May
It’s hard to get away from our feelings that we need to hide. You hide a part of yourself and so does everyone else. Don’t hold it against another person if they’re not revealing everything to you.
8. Fear changes a person: Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn’s son, learns that he has a rare genetic disease that will kill him one day. With the revelation of this illness, Harry changes and becomes obsessed with finding a cure. He goes to great lengths, up to a human test of an unproven drug, to save his life. Only to go crazy and become the Green Goblin in the end.
When fear rises up, people tend to change. A sense of self-preservation wells up and takes over.
Don’t fall victim to fear. Don’t let fear change you.
9. You have value outside of your role as a leader: Gwen Stacey tells Peter Parker that “You’re Spider-Man but I love Peter Parker more.”
Gwen knows who Spider-Man is. She knows he’s a hero. But she also knows Peter Parker and loves him for who he is. She realizes he has value outside of being a hero.
The same applies to you. Leadership is a title. It’s a position. But it’s not who you fully are.
You are more than a leader. Never, ever forget that.
10. “I made a choice; this is my path.” – Peter Parker
Peter realized that he made a choice. He chose to don the mask of Spider-Man after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Since he made the choice, he needs to follow that choice to completion.
As leaders, we make choices every day. The question is: Are you willing to follow the path your choice made?
11. Not every one has a happy ending: We all want to have happy endings. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t have the happy ending everyone was hoping for. Instead, something drastic and sad happened. There was the death of a major character and Peter Parker was greatly affected.
We won’t be able to save and lead everyone as a leader. It’s just not possible.
As a young leader, you’ve got to come to this realization. And do the best to help those you can.
12. You have to get back out there: After the tragic death of Gwen Stacey, Peter Parker hung up the Spider-Man costume. Crime picked up and people began to lose hope. That is until The Rhino comes crashing onto the scene.
With this inspiration, Peter grabs his Spider-Man suit and swings into action.
The road of leadership is tough. We hit bumps and we want to hang up our mantle. But we can’t.
When it’s tough out there, you have to realize you’re here for a purpose. You can pick yourself back up. And you can lead again.
If you’re looking for a fun superhero movie that you can take leadership lessons away from, may I suggest spending 2+ hours with the new Amazing Spider-Man movie? It’s a fun romp that takes some serious turns.