X-Men Apocalypse seemed like a long time coming and now it is finally here. It took me a few days to think about the movie and extract leadership lessons from it. This movie was about bringing a team together. It was about empowering each other with the idea that you can make a difference and that each person is important as the next. Raven became a great leader in this movie. She showed a group of students that coming together to work toward the same goal can yield success. Here are a few lessons I’ve pulled from the movie. Hope you enjoy.
Apocalypse: It’s over, Charles. You are beaten.
Charles Xavier: You’ll never win.
Apocalypse: Why not?
Charles Xavier: Because you are alone… and I am not.
Charlies Xavier didn’t work alone. He had a team. He had a team of people who believed what he believed. A team works better than an individual when reaching toward a goal, especially when you have a diverse challenge in front of you. Every person will bring a specific set of skills to the table. It’s important to embrace diversity in a team. If you have a team, use it, don’t alienate yourself from them. Leaders leverage their team’s strengths. Leaders don’t try to make the winning play. They encourage teamwork. When the team wins, you win. Leaders understand the importance of a team.
Charles Xavier: [senses Apocalypse with Cerebro] I’ve never felt power like this before…
A true leader will never us authority to get things done. Charles Xavier had power unlike most mutants, but he didn’t go around using it for his benefit. Leaders don’t use power. They use influence, they inspire people. Charles motivated people to be more than they thought they were. He inspired them to make great decisions. He cultivated an environment to grow each mutant’s potential. He never forced them with his mind control to decide on the right path. He taught them the right choices from the bad. Leaders never use power to make things happen. At the end of the movie Charles is speaking with Erik about staying for a bit.
Charles Xavier: You sure I can’t convince you to stay?
Erik Lensherr: You’re psychic, Charles. You can convince me to do anything.
The greatest part about this is that Charles didn’t use his power to convince him to do anything. Leaders will never use power to control anyone.
Sometimes we don’t see the potential we have. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help us point it out. We always know our weaknesses, but our strengths sometimes can be hidden.
Charles Xavier: Once you know the extent of your power, then you can learn to control it.
Charles’ whole purpose for having a school for the gifted was to help each person understand their power and to know how to use it. He brought out each person’s potential and guided each person into managing their power. Leaders do the same for the team members. Leaders study their teammates. They get to know them. They look deeper than the surface. Leaders invest in people. When a leader sees potential in someone they assist with providing opportunities for that person to use their skills. In doing so, they help that person grow. Leaders seek out potential in people and help them develop that potential.