Wonder Woman made her comic book debut in 1942, at the height of World War II. She was a warrior whose strong character was designed to empower women in their war efforts. Now starring in her own blockbuster film 75 years later, Wonder Woman is still a figure of inspiration for many, even businesses. But what are the enduring qualities that make Wonder Woman such an impressive leader to this day?
Wonder Woman begins the film stating she 'used to want to save this world'. However, she soon finds that achieving this goal is much more complicated than expected, having to navigate unforeseen barriers and overcome hurdles.Many business leaders will empathize with this struggle, often setting out with a single purpose but through trial and error ending up with new, and perhaps more appropriate, goals.In a modern economy that is constantly evolving, change is inevitable so business leaders must learn to adapt and be flexible. Those leaders who embrace change, not as an obstacle but rather as an opportunity, will succeed.
In tough economic times, business leaders are forced to use their resources more intelligently. As well as her trusted lasso of truth and her shield, Wonder Woman has the help of a number of key characters. For business leaders, their most valuable resource is their staff. To get the best results, a good leader will involve and encourage the team, bringing out an individual’s strengths and coach them through challenges. A true leader will also celebrate the successes with their colleagues as a win for the whole team. Other recognition techniques such as rewards and motivational incentives will encourage the same engagement in future endeavors.
As a leader, effective communication is key. Just as Wonder Woman relied on efficient communication to navigate through unknown lands, leaders must guide with clarity. Effective communication in the workplace enables and influences productivity and how a business operates.If an employee is empowered to communicate openly up and down the business chain, they will feel a greater sense of purpose within the organization. If a business leader creates a strong line of communication they will not only better understand their workforce, the workforce will better understand the business.
Leaders must also be realistic.Although Wonder Woman is initially frustrated in her attempts to save the world, by being patient she is able to see the bigger picture and so becomes more effective when faced with a challenge. Similarly, good management requires business leaders to establish realistic targets. Employees are increasingly having to manage the expectations of their managers and the demands of a modern work-life balance. To harness the best possible performance from their team, a good leader will assess the workload and distribute it fairly whilst also respecting that people have a life outside of the office.To create a good team ethic, leaders should follow the example of Wonder Woman and accept that they and their staff can’t be all things to all people at once.
Through the various lessons she teaches, Wonder Woman is a shining example of leadership in the workplace. Female and male business leaders alike can learn to fight adversity and adapt to the various challenges in management, all while juggling a modern lifestyle. As Queen Hippolyta puts it 'fighting doesn’t make you a hero,' but rather it is Wonder Woman’s leadership that does.