There is no bigger superhero than Superman, and this summer we are subject to yet another reboot on this timeless classic.
When it comes to beloved characters like Superman, you have two distinct camps of people. First, we have those of us that grew up with a particular version, reluctant to see our beloved character poorly represented. Then we have folks who have no real attachment, who may be new to the character or open to another viewpoint, who can watch with a clean slate.
I fall into the first category. I love the Christopher Reeve version of Superman and can watch it over and over again. I wanted to see the new movie, but didn’t want to see an origin story poorly done when I think the one I grew up with is the cat’s meow.
I read an article a few weeks ago, which forced me to check my premises. It pointed out that the Reeve version was developed in another time, for another period in American history. This new version is adjusted for how we live today, and has to be viewed in that context.
Our superheroes and superhero movies – momentary escapes from reality, providing us with visions of something greater than ourselves – have to evolve with the world around us to remain relevant.
I decided to put my preconceived notions aside and go into the new version with an open mind. I’m very glad I did.
I walked away with another story. The names of some of the characters were the same, but the story was completely different. It’s a relevant story, one that resonates with where we are today. I can still enjoy the story from my childhood, but I found a new story that I’d be willing to watch again and can appreciate separate and distinct from the one I knew.
Going through this experience reminded me that we can easily get attached to what we know and what we’re comfortable with. When we resist something new, is it because it’s not worthwhile or because we’re holding on to what we’re familiar with? What we’re used to?
Companies, roles, tasks, job descriptions…don’t they all need to evolve into something new and different as times change? What was relevant yesterday may not be relevant today. We can look back fondly on what we knew and how things worked at a point in time, but not at the expense of what is going on right now.
The opportunities of tomorrow cannot be achieved with the mindset of yesterday. With one exception.
Just as Superman must always stand for truth, justice and the American way, a given company or person has a core value – or identity – that must remain no matter how times change.
When new ideas or opportunities arise and the first instinct is to resist, ask yourself…does this change the core of who we are as a company, team or person? If it doesn’t, maybe this is just the next evolution of our story.
Do you find yourself to be more open to the new, or struggling to hold onto what’s familiar? What techniques do you recommend to look past what is to what’s possible? I’d love if you could share your feedback in the comments to keep the conversation going.