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Allow me to illuminate this term ‘SUPERMAN’ :

The Übermensch (German for “Overman, Overhuman, Above-Human, Superman, Super-human” is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche had his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Wikipedia

“Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Übermensch – a rope over an abyss.”- Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The term Übermensch, often translated as Superman or Overman, was not invented by Nietzsche. The concept of hyperanthropos can be found in the ancient writings of Lucian.In America Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of the Oversoul, and, perhaps with the exception of Goethe’s Faust, his aristocratic, self-reliant ‘Beyond-man’ was probably the greatest contributor to Nietzsche’s idea of the Übermensch.

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Dear Supervisor/teamleader…..DO NOT BE SUPERMAN!!!


I’ve seen iSUPERMAN too many times, and in too many TOP organisations. SUPERMAN-mode is when a teamleader ensures/insists/manipulates it so that he/she is the heart, soul, legs and brains of the team.

This teamleader IS mostdef “THE GO TO GUY”. This is not always a bad thing but like eating ice-cream: “Eat in moderation or you will suffer a brain freeze”.The teamleader -however- often takes great (blown-up) pride in the accomplishments of the team, and wears it like personal gold medals.

What concerns me though, is the abundance of the typical ‘tail wagging the dog’ manipulative strategy inside teams like these. Because the goal accomplishments are an ego-feed, ego-amplifier & a self-importance feeding trough to the teamleader, the team are quick to throw their hands in the air because SUPERMAN will fly in and rescue them….Afterwards they cover SUPERMAN in praise and glory whilst snickering inside.

This leaves SUPERMAN consistently doing (let’s say) 180% of the work but SUPERMAN still only gets paid 100% of his/her paycheck. This leaves team members putting in only a 60% effort for their 100% paycheck. NICELY PLAYED TEAM!!!! And although publicly SUPERMAN walks the floor like a Lippizaner stud, inside he/she is cracking under the pressure and workload.


SUPERMAN now that is SUPERDENSE……as we can not promote you. You have tied yourself to the goals and those can not be achieved without you there. So even if you go to a 3 day training session, back home the wheels come off big time. This does not make you look good AT ALL…..So in you fly again to save the day. Well get used to it…….super(dense)hero as your manipulators have ‘that’ on the repeat button.

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Simple ways how to NOT to be a SUPERMAN teamleader.

– Be assertive and hold every member to their job description in a firm, fair and friendly way. Remember you are the custodian of the company’s resources      and non-productive team members are effectively defrauding the company as they are not delivering against their agreed employment contract                  deliverables.

– Coach your team with your hands in your pockets. Transfer skills to their hands (DO) and do not let them just stare at you whilst you ‘show’ them. Let them    engage with the challenges with you as their wingman.

– Raise the level of responsibility by sharing your functional management responsibilities. This ensures the wheels stays on when you not at work (sick or       annual leave, training ea) as you have a placeholder steering/cheering team on.

May we leave the superheroes to the comic books as we go from success to success in packs (aka teams) of competence and equal, balanced load bearing.

To end my post I have to quote the great spaceman Buzz Lightyear:

“To infinity…..and beyond!” 🙂

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