Five lessons for successful leaders from the film Iron Man 21. Good leaders dress like rockstarsYou might be the most profit-generating, stock-price-elevating manager on the company’s rolls. But if you don’t dress like a star, no one is going to take you seriously. Look at the contrast between Tony Stark and his nemesis Justin Hammer.Stark is all sharp suits, sunglasses and Jaeger Le Coultre watches.Hammer, on the other hand, is a dowdy boring man in thick-rimmed glasses. His outfit doesn’t say “diabolical villain” as much as “chartered accountant”. (There are some minor differences.)Recently got promoted? Get a new wardrobe. Grow a cool beard.Remember: Couture is control.2. Punish insubordination with instant painful deathIn the film, Stark’s close friend and sidekick Jim Rhodes dares to wear an Iron Man suit and intervene, while Stark is getting plastered at a party.An enraged Stark engages in combat. In the process, he almost destroys his luxury 32 BHK home with attached secret underground den.Why does he bother? Not because Rhodes was wrong, but because real leaders must crush insubordination at any cost. Preferably with explosives.The moral is simple: Our Prime Minister must watch Iron Man 2 now.3. Don’t over-think succession plansIdentifying, evaluating and appointing a successor are a perennial bugaboo for top leaders. Many top leaders simply refuse to leave. Others take too long to find a worthy replacement.
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