Stop Being the Green Lantern of Business

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

Other posts in the series:

In Chris’s flagship post about how we’ve all become modern superheroes at business, he points out how common some “super powers” (infinite knowledge, instant communication) have become.  In a way, that means the barrier to entry for becoming a workplace superhero is getting dangerously low — and that opens the door for lame superheroes.

And you probably are one… but you don’t have to be.

Why I Would Kill for a Weakness to Kryptonite

Quick: what’s Aquaman’s weakness?

He needs to be in contact with water at least once a day.

But wait… don’t we all?  That’s not a very “super” weakness, is it?
Sure, he can talk to fish, but he has to do it from the water cooler.
And that makes him about as “super” as your district manager.

But it could be worse.

Quick: what’s Green Lantern’s weakness?


That’s right: yellow.  Green Lantern’s ring is powerless against a color *that also happens to be a component OF green.*  (Go figure THAT one out…)

Meanwhile, what’s Superman’s weakness?


That’s right: aside from magic (which doesn’t really exist) and lead (which has felled better men than Clark Kent over the past century), Superman’s main weakness is being exposed to radioactive asteroid chunks of his exploded home planet.

And how many of THOSE do you think people find on the side of the road?  Not many.

Which is why Superman is Superman, and why Aquaman is the guy the Justice League usually asks to wait by the phone while they handle the REAL emergencies.

What the Hell Does This Have to Do With YOUR Job?


If we’re all superheroes, then we need GOOD super-weaknesses.  We can’t be flummoxed by dehydration and primary colors.  And yet, most gurus I know fail completely when it comes to simple skills like:

* time management
* financial planning
* customer service
* self-awareness
* spelling

If the power of the Internet gives each of us an honorary membership in the Justice League of Business, we owe it to the people we’re supposed to be helping (e.g., your clients or, if you’re a nonprofit, the whole of humanity) to not be rendered useless by basic tasks.  We should be improving our basic skills AND our “super” powers at all times, so the services we provide truly ARE unparalleled.  And we need to identify the bad habits and external pressures that are capable of derailing our workflow (and our careers) so we can work around them, learn to disable them, and eventually overcome them.

So… what’s YOUR Kryptonite?

(Are you sure it’s not just yellow?)

HINT: If there’s a flaw in your work approach that you just can’t fix, team up with someone who’s really good at the things you do horribly.  As the Wonder Twins taught us all, there’s strength in numbers — especially when one of you can transform into a dinosaur.  So work on that.


Stop Being the Green Lantern of Business 1Justin Kownacki is a writer, videographer, brand strategist and media consultant.  Since 2003, he’s created and produced the web sitcoms Something to Be Desired and The Baristas.  He also tweets far, far too much.  You can find Justin on the web here:


3 responses to “Stop Being the Green Lantern of Business”

  1. So true! It’s the simple things that can make us blunder. A good reminder that we are human and as we strive for our goals we have to remember to pay attention to the details that help us get there! Thanks for sharing Chris / Justin.

  2. Great post that leads to good thoughts
    I fully agree superheroes generally have some large areas of weakness. Isn’t it what makes them human?
    But then the key is really who they team up with. If they find a complement that’s going to be great. If they only team up with people like themselves, which they would tend doing… then they might not be able to really apply their super hero powers. The secret is in the teaming up!

  3. Green is a primary color of light, therefore, Yellow is not a component thereof…. It is next to it on the rainbow, however….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This