Many people have said the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in decline since the amazing Avengers: Endgame movie. While there haven’t been as many great movies since that film, Marvel still has had some winners.
Having previously seen Captain Marvel and not being a fan, I wasn’t too excited about their latest film, The Marvels. The Marvels continues the story of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau/Photon (Yeyonah Parris), and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). The trio all have light-based powers that get entangled thanks to a new threat.
For those of you who haven’t watched Captain Marvel or the Ms. Marvel Disney Plus series, you may come away a little lost. This movie picks up after both of these, and they are crucial to understanding what is happening. However, I think you can enjoy this movie even without the backstory from those two entries.
This movie felt like it held more weight than recent entries. It also moved the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward in ways that haven’t happened lately. Your mind will be blown when you add in the end scene credits.
But enough of that. Let’s get to the heart of this article. The leadership lessons found in The Marvels.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From The Marvels
1. Write your story:
Early in The Marvels, we see Kamala Khan sketching out a story of meeting Captain Marvel, her hero. She tells a story of how they become besties, fight evildoers, and hang out with the Avengers.
It’s a cool story. But it’s not true.
At least not yet.
Kamala is envisioning the future, or at least dreaming big. She’s writing a story for herself that might or might not come true.
In her case, her story becomes reality as she teams up with Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau.
What story are you writing? What story are you telling yourself?
The inner monologue you carry on inside your head matters. You can tell yourself of the success you’re going to achieve or you can tell yourself that you’re going to face failure after failure.
Write the story that moves you forward.
2. Examine new information:
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls Carol about a weird surge the team at S.A.B.E.R. (Strategic Aerospace Biophysics and Exolinguistic Response), a human-Skrull space defense force, notices. Carol says she didn’t notice an anomaly.
What does Carol do? She begins to look at the readings she has. She examines the new evidence and makes a conclusion.
We don’t have all the information all of the time. Sometimes, a team member will notice something we don’t. Maybe a news outlet breaks a news story that is important to your organization.
Use these opportunities to process the new information. Examine it. See what you can do with it.
3. Nick Fury:
Don’t go swinging.
Carol received the information about the weird surges and processed the new information. She understands what’s happening now. She begins to swing into action.
But Nick Fury does something few leaders do. He warns Carol not to go swinging or not to rush into things.
Why? Because he understood there might be more to the story or hidden dangers. He urged caution that, unfortunately, Carol ignored.
I want to caution all leaders out there to be careful rushing into action. I know it’s a common practice because the first to market, the first to pivot, the first to a lot of things can be declared the winner. Yet, when you go swinging at the first sign of trouble or excitement, you might ignore the other warning signs around you.
It’s okay to be cautious. You don’t have to rush to market or be the first to try a new product. Sometimes, it’s wise to go slow.
4. Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel:
I don’t like that name.
The Kree alien race had given Captain Marvel a derogatory name. She was called the Annihilator.
Captain Marvel attacked and destroyed the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence A.I. (Artificial intelligence) in her alliance with the Skrulls. The Supreme Intelligence had kept things working smoothly on the Kree’s homeworld of Hala.
Upon destroying the Supreme Intelligence, things went bad for Hala. The sun went out, disasters happened, people died.
The Kree renamed Captain Marvel. She understood why but she also rejected the name. It wasn’t who she was.
Think about the names or titles you have been given. Have any of them been negative? Do any of those names not reflect who you are?
Then, reject those names or titles or monickers.
You don’t have to accept what others call you. You don’t have to accept the junk others give you.
Claim who you are because you know whose you are.
5. Leaders have to do what they’ve never done before:
The power of the Marvels became intertwined. When one used their powers, another Marvel would swap places with her. This happened again and again until they realized what was happening.
Early on, this issue arose when Captain Marvel used her powers to fly. Up, up, up into the sky she went. Then boom, the swap took place with Kamala being in the upper atmosphere.
Kamala doesn’t have flying powers so she begins to fall. Monica did have the power of flight but had never tested it before. She now had to fly.
Monica was hesitant. She wasn’t sure how she was going to be able to accomplish this. Yet, there was nothing else to do but to do the never done.
We’re placed in situations regularly where we’ve never tried what we must do. We’re placed into new territory.
Leaders have to think on their feet, try new things, and get things done that they’ve never been able to before. Get over the fear of the unknown or untried. You can do more than you think.
6. You can’t save everyone:
Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), the main antagonist in The Marvels, destroys the shield protecting the Skrull’s planet. She wants to see them destroyed or made homeless. The planet begins to fall into disarray as buildings crumble, mountains fall, and more.
The Marvels do their best to get the citizens onto evacuation ships. But, as Ms. Marvel is trying to save more citizens, Captain Marvel makes the call that they need to go. They had to save the ones they could while leaving some behind.
This is a painful truth. As good leaders, we want to help everyone. We want to give everyone a chance.
But we can’t. Some people just can’t be helped. There are situations that can’t be changed.
You can’t save everyone. You can only do what you can do.
Be prepared for the hurt that comes with this realization.
7. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson):
You can stand tall without standing alone.
Valkyrie from the Thor movies makes an appearance in The Marvels. In her brief appearance, she tells Captain Marvel an important truth.
Watch what Valkyrie says in the movie trailer below (I’ve jumped it to seconds before her great leadership quote).
Captain Marvel had tried to do so much alone. She wanted to be that lone wolf type of superhero. She believed it would allow her to stand taller. Valkyrie disagreed and encouraged her to do the superhero thing with a team.
I want to encourage you to find yourself a great team. You may think you can stand tall without a team. You can’t. Even if you can, you’ll stand taller when you are leading with others.
8. Bad leaders may have a reason for the bad things they do:
When Captain Marvel destroyed the Supreme Intelligence A.I., she doomed the Kree people. Their way of life would be changed forever.
This is the reason Dar-Benn was the antagonist. She was fighting for something she believed in that would also get her revenge.
Dar-Benn was a bad guy that wasn’t truly a bad guy. She had a reason for her negative actions.
When you see a bad team member or leader misbehaving, empathize with them. Discuss their behavior. Find out what they’ve gone through.
Their actions may be a reaction or reflection of their past hurt or trauma.
You can help them work through these issues. You can find a way for them to grow and overcome their trauma.
Try to understand the reasoning before you can someone.
9. Train, train, train:
The Marvels discovered they could control their switches if they noticed what was happening. They went to Captain Marvel’s ship, The Hoopty, to train.
We see the trio juggling, walking with books on their head, and jumping rope. Doing these activities may not seem like much but then they would fire a power and switch with another hero.
They had to train themselves to understand when and where they would go. This training proved helpful when they faced off against Dar-Benn.
Training is so vital to the success of the leader and the people they lead. Training moves you and your team forward by increasing and improving skills.
Find resources to help you train. It may be Stormwind for your I.T. team, LinkedIn learning for general knowledge, or even sending a team member to a trade school or college.
Training will move you and your team forward. Allow your team to grow.
10. Build new teams:
The Marvels had two great reveals. The first was the very end of the movie before the credits role.
A woman opens the door to her apartment. There, a dog sits waiting.
We soon realize who the dog is. It’s Pizza The Dog from Hawkeye. The person entering the house? Kate Bishop/Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld).
Kamala is waiting for her inside of the apartment. She has an offer for Kate.
She wants Kate to join a new team. One made up of young superheroes.
My guess is this is a build-up to a Young Avengers T.V. series or movie. This got the theater pumped!
We should always be looking to build and grow our teams. We must look for people with the skills and knowledge to move those teams forward.
Look for these people. Recruit them. Build new teams.
11. Give people something to look forward to:
The Marvels had a very exciting credit scene. At the end of The Marvels, Monica is lost through the rift in space. They believed she was dead or lost forever. That wasn’t the case.
The Marvels’ credit scene had the theater explode with cheers as we see Monica dazed but alive. She’s on an examination table and someone who appears to be her mother is beside her.
Monica discovers this isn’t her mother but someone from another reality. Then, we see the X-Man Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammer) make an appearance.
The X-Man has now officially entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe through a rift in time and space.
People have been waiting for the X-Men to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was that moment.
While we only got a peek at Beast, we can now look forward to more X-Men entering the theaters again.
Great leaders know that people need something to look forward to. You give them hope and excitement by giving them a glimpse of what will come.
Find out what your people need to see. Then show it to them. Give them something to look forward to.