Batman–Embracing Failure

Batman, Leadership

Batman is not only a man, but he’s a symbol.  He stands for something greater than himself.  Batman is one of the best superheroes out there because he’s just a man trying to make things better.  The Nolan Batman series pulls some great lessons in leadership.

One of the most memorable quotes is from Alfred.  

Why do we fall, Sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.


There are a couple of examples to highlight based off the idea of not giving up. One of them is this quote.  This quote in a nutshell says, it’s okay to fall because we learn from our mistakes or better yet, we fail because failure is a part of finding success.

In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne has a broken back and it thrown down a deep hole.  He attempts a few times to get out by jumping and grabbing the only ledge leading to the way out.  He failed the first time, he failed the second, but on the third…he gets it!


Bruce Wayne failed many times at trying to reach that ledge, but he found success!  He did not give up!  He got out and reignited what he set out to do for Gotham. 

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sound familiar?  

Batman wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but he tried becoming a symbol so that others would carry on what that symbol stood for.  It wasn’t about one person, it was about doing what’s right.  Batman would eventually succeed in this, but most importantly,

Batman did not fear failure. 

Batman tried to nurture Harvey Dent into the hero Gotham needed.  Harvey Dent was the leader Batman wanted Gotham to have. Even in that, it wasn’t about Dent, it was about what he stood for without a mask.  Justice, doing what’s right, making the city a better place.  Bruce Wayne went on to say,

I believe in Harvey Dent. 

What he really meant was, I believe in doing what’s right even if it means I fail!  

We seek success and if we fail, even as a team, we know that we have lessons to learn and another chance to take another shot.  

Leaders embrace failure. 

Batman, Harvey Dent embraced failure! They knew that if they didn’t try to make a change, a change wouldn’t happen.  

Leaders push teams to their limits.  Sometimes those teams fail and the punch can feel impossible to get up from, but leaders inspire, motivate, but most importantly teach those around them that failure is only a step to success.  They empower their teams to take chances, to be bold, to see failure as another step into completing the mission.  

We know that many movements for change have failed.  The Wright Brothers failed many times before finally taking flight.  Steve Jobs failed numerous of times before finally creating a well-built, affordable home computer.  Can you imagine what it would be like if these people gave up after failing the first time? 

The next opportunity you have to accomplish something, don’t let fear of failure scare you away from success.  Your leadership is crucial in moments like this, it make or break a team.  Through the bruises, through the time, through the failure, we make progress. Lead like Batman.  

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