What can we learn about leadership from Spider-man?

In Spider-man: Far From Home, Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-man, is struggling with the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Tony was one of the main, although somewhat unconventional, leaders of the Avengers. Peter is torn between the desire to just be a teenager and the pressure he feels to take Tony’s place. Peter spends much of the early part of the movie dodging calls from Nick Fury, who Peter assumes is trying to get him to take Tony’s place. He even manages to avoid joining Fury’s team to fight a coming group of enemies, for a while. Fury manages to highjack Peter’s class trip to Europe and eventually Peter has no choice, but to get involved, if for no other reason than to protect his classmates. Sometimes leadership opportunities will follow you, no matter whether you are ready for it, or not. You don’t always have to go looking for a chance, but when the times comes will you be ready? A good mentor will display good leadership, by preparing the next generation of leaders. In Tony’s case, not only did he try to bring Peter along slowly, but he left a set of AI powered glasses, for Nick Fury to give to Peter. These glasses would give Peter access to resources he never would have know. Tony figuratively and literally equipped Peter to take his leadership to the next level. Later in the movie, Peter learns that Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio, is not who he claims to be – a refugee from an alternate earth, that was destroyed by the same creatures about to destroy Peter’s earth. Quentin is actually just a guy with some mad special effects skills, who fools everyone into believing he’s a superhero. Quentin uses his special effects to lure Peter into a fight where he ends up catching a train, the hard way. When he wakes up Peter calls for Tony’s trusted assistant Happy Hogan. Happy turns mentor when he sees Peter feeling sorry for himself for the mistakes he’s made. Happy tells him Tony wouldn’t have trusted Peter if he didn’t think he could handle the responsibility that goes along with it. He also tells Peter he’s no Tony Stark – which seems a bit harsh, but he says it somewhat tongue-in-cheek. In other words he tells Peter not to try to be Tony, but to be himself. This is enough to inspire Peter to create his own Spidersuit and go on to kick Mysterio’s butt. Even when you have a great mentor, you can’t duplicate their style and success. There are too many factors preventing that from happening. What you can do is take elements of what your mentor has given you and weave it into your own leadership style. In the end you will be able to be genuine and authentic with your team. If you try to be someone else it will stress you out and your team will either call you out, or leave! So if you’re struggling to find your authentic self, why not work with a coach to get back to your true identity, even if you’re a mask-wearing superhero!

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