Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Black Adam

A Reel Leadership Article

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As usual, the latest DC comic book movie is creating divisive opinions. There are moviegoers who say that Black Adam is a fantastic movie (myself included). Then, there are those who say that Black Adam is a hot mess. I don’t know what movie they saw, but it’s not the one I watched.

Who or what is Black Adam? The comic book character of Black Adam (played by Dwayne The Rock Johnson in the movie) dates back to 1945. He was an ancient Pharaoh who was granted the powers of Shazam (remember the fantastic Zachary Levi movie Shazam? That’s the power!). In much the same way, Black Adam, or as he is called throughout the film Teth-Adam (I’ll call him Black Adam in this article), was corrupted by the power when he saw his wife and son murdered.

Dwayne Johnson as Teth-Adam/Black Adam in the Black Adam movie

The wizards who granted him his powers bound him and subjected him to imprisonment until one of the characters in Black Adam frees him. He then has a choice to make. Does he continue to pursue vengeance, or can he change?

This struggle provides an excellent background for leadership. There are plenty of leadership lessons in Black Adam. Let’s look at those leadership lessons today.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Black Adam

1. Great leaders stop injustice:

Hurut (Jalon Christian) was Black Adam’s son. He saw a man attacked after the man found Eternium, a unique mineral that gives off magical powers. The evil King Ahk-Ton (Marwan Kenzari) put the citizens of Kahndaq to work mining the minerals for his own personal gain.

Hurut stopped the mob from taking the mineral from him. They wanted the reward that would come from finding the mineral (or so they thought).

The young boy put himself in grave danger. However, he knew he had to do the right thing. That was stopping the mob despite the danger he would face.

There may be injustices happening within your organization. People may be treating others poorly. There may be divisive behavior that’s stopping your team from being productive. There may even be discrimination.

It’s your job as a leader to say enough. You have the power and ability to stop injustices from happening.

Do your job.

2. Leaders leap:

Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) was seeking the Crown of Sabbac. This crown had been infused with Eternium. The Crown of Sabbac was thought of by six of the most powerful demons of Hell. It serves as a key to the Kingdoms of Hell and gives the holder hellacious powers.

That’s not why Adrianna wanted the crown. She wanted to prevent the evil from being unleashed.

She found the crown floating between two large rocks in her search for the crown. There was no way to reach the crown but by jumping. Adrianna would have to leap.

She did. The crown was in her grasp because she was brave enough to leap.

There are times when you have to leap. The leap may be in suspending the knowledge you’ve come to know, doing something you’ve never done, or going in scared.

Leadership is all about the leap. The more you overcome the fears holding you back, the easier it will be to leap when needed.

3. Black Adam:

Your magic is weak.

Black Adam was awakened when Adrianna uttered the magical word “Shazam!” She spoke the word because her life was in danger. The members of Intergang were attacking, and she needed help.

Black Adam protected her. During his actions, the Intergang members shot at Black Adam. He laughed off the attack as he easily stopped the bullets.

Not being from the present day, Black Adam saw the bullets as magical. They were no match for him.

You’re going to see things as a leader. You’re going to have your preconceived notions as to what is and what isn’t. When you see something outside your normal sphere of knowledge, you may think there’s magic.

There’s not.

What’s happening is beyond your scope of understanding at the time. There’s a reason for everything. You can look at what’s confusing you and figure out how it is done.

4. Your team will have seasoned and new people:

Black Adam introduces the audience to the Justice Society. The Justice Society is a team of superpowered beings that try to protect the world.

The iteration of the Justice Society in Black Adam includes:

  • Hawkman/Carter Hall (Aldis Hodge)
  • Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson (Pierce Brosnan)
  • Cyclone/Maxine Hunkel (Quintessa Swindell)
  • Atom Smasher/Al Rothstein (Noah Centineo)

Hawkman and Dr. Fate were both experienced members of the Justice Society. They had plenty of superhero experience.

Cyclone and Atom Smasher… Well, they were new to the superhero game. They hadn’t seen much action. They were about to.

Your team is going to look a lot like the Justice Society. No, they’re not going to have superpowers. What they’re going to have is a mix of experienced team members and inexperienced team members.

You’ll have to help the new and old members work well together. You’ll have to find out how the inexperienced members can add benefits. You’ll have to encourage the seasoned members of your team to help those coming on.

Work with both the seasoned and new members of your team. The more you do, the stronger the team will be.

5. Hawkman:

A bad plan is better than no plan.

Hawkman had a plan for containing Black Adam. Dr. Fate heard the plan. He was not a fan.

And he told Hawkman as much.

Hawkman understood. He knew his plan wasn’t the best. It may have even been a bad plan. However, the plan Hawkman created was the plan they had.

His feeling was a bad plan is better than no plan.

Are you afraid of stepping up and leading because you think your plan will suck? It’s okay. A lot of our plans do suck. They’ll also change.

Create a plan for your organization. Figure out what you want to do, how you want to do it, and then begin working on the plan.

When the bad plan needs work, work on it. Tweak what needs to be changed.

Keep working on the plan until the bad plan becomes a good plan.

6. Your team may not like you doing the right thing:

Hawkman had a thing against killing. Black Adam had no such trepidation against disposing of the Intergang members.

Black Adam slaughtered people with no remorse. On one occasion, Black Adam dropped two Intergang members from high in the sky.

Hawkman swooped down. He saved the two men.

What happened next shocked him. The citizens of Kandahq booed him. They wanted to see the Intergang members die.

Granted, they had a valid reason for their desire to see the deaths of these men. They’d terrorized the city. However, Hawkman never expected the citizens to boo him.

Doing the right thing will cause your people to dislike you at times. The right thing isn’t always the popular thing.

You will have to overcome criticism. You will have to work through disagreements with your people.

Do the right thing anyway.

7. Your word choices are important:

An Intergang member told Black Adam to put him down. Black Adam listened.

There was a problem. Black Adam was holding the Intergang member high in the sky.

Uh oh… There goes the bad guy. He should’ve chosen his words more wisely.

The words we speak to our spouses, family members, and team members are important. They’re how we communicate.

If we’re saying the wrong things or if the things we say can be wrongly interrupted, we must watch what we say. Make sure what you’re saying is what you mean.

8. Atom Smasher:

I’m not going to let you downplay this.

Karim (Mohammed Amer) was Amon Tomaz’s (Bodhi Sabongui) uncle. Karim had been shot. His life was in danger.

Thankfully, the Justice Society could patch him up. Cyclone got to work on patching the gunshot wound and helping him recover.

The recovery was remarkable. Much faster than it should have been.

When Atom Smasher saw this, he was amazed. He told Cyclone as much.

Cyclone downplayed her role. She said it was nothing. Atom Smasher disagreed and wouldn’t let her downplay her skills.

Man, how often are we Cyclone? We downplay our actions and results. We believe what we do isn’t special or amazing.

Stop it, stop it, stop it.

What you do is amazing. You’re making a difference in your organization and the world.

What you do matters. Don’t say it doesn’t.

9. Black Adam:

Some men are not meant to be heroes.

Black Adam realized he didn’t have what it takes to be a hero, or at least he felt like he didn’t. He said the word Shazam and transformed back into his human form.

After his transformation, he asked Hawkman to ensure he couldn’t speak the word again. Hawkman agreed to help. He brought Black Adam to Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who put him into stasis.

While I believe everyone has leadership potential within them, not everyone is cut out to be a leader. There are multiple reasons why.

They may not be able to control their temper. Other people may desire the power of leadership too much. And then there are other reasons.

Examine yourself. Figure out if you’re really cut out to lead others.

10. You can lead in different ways:

While Black Adam believed he wasn’t cut out to be a leader, he was in the end. When Hawkman and Dr. Fate needed him, he was there to protect the people of Kahndaq.

The way Black Adam protected his people was not the same way the Justice Society protected people. It wasn’t the same way Superman (Henry Cavill) protected people. However, his methods worked for the people of Kahndaq.

If you’re struggling to lead, try different leadership methods. There are as many varied ways to lead as there are organizations to lead.

If you keep trying different methods, you will find one that works for you.

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