While at a networking event, I was handed a card with a super hero on it. I looked at it for a long time before looking back at the person. I said, “Wow!” He smiled. I had to know more so I looked up the company and introduced myself to Diogenes, CEO of Superhero Cards. And he has a wonderful origin story, which he graciously shared. You can find more examples of the superhero cards on their website.
As you read his story, think of yours. What do you want to be known for? What kind of first impression do you want to make? And lasting impression you want people to keep? Whether you are a front line team member, manager, or leader, it makes no difference. People want to know what makes you tick, what you stand for. What’s your story? What’s your superhero?
Superhero Cards – Diogenes’ Story
Remember the Wizard of Oz when the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion got stuff from the Wizard’s black bag? Once my disappointment at the Wizard not being a real Wizard went away, I realized that those items he gave out had real power. Each item affirmed the true identity of each character. It made their individual brands complete.
A few years ago, one on my employees gave me a special birthday gift, which had a similar impact on me. He illustrated a Superman body and made the face look like me. He then wrote a bunch of nice things on it. As that illustration hung on my wall, it made me feel great every time I looked at it. It was particularly useful on Monday mornings. It was a constant reminder of the best me there could ever be.
Like a Knock on the Head from Thor’s Hammer
A year later, my son and I were making mock trading cards of his made up characters, like Eyeball Man and Carrot Man. It was then, like a knock on the head from Thor’s hammer, that it hit me. Everyone could have their own version of what I had hanging on my wall to make them feel like they could accomplish anything. It could be made in a way that might even be useful in promoting their business. That’s when Superhero Cards were born.
I picked out a few colleagues and made Superhero Cards for them with individual superhero identities, super powers and secret weapons. I picked names that were indicative of the business they were in. Some of them thought the cards were silly and some of them actually started to use them in lieu of their boring business cards. I knew I was on to something when Jeffrey Gitomer, the sales guru and writer, got hold of one and had us make them for everyone in his office. Now there are hundreds of card carrying Superheroes, each with their own superhero story.
A Superhero’s Mission
I realized that there was more to this than just a fun business card when my good friend Wellness Woman (a.k.a. Jo Smith) said, “You’ve given me permission to be better than the person I already am.” Her words made me feel like I could leap a tall building in a single bound. I now had a super hero mission. It was to help more people bring their super self, their true brand out into the open so everyone could see just how amazing they really are.
We all posses unique powers and gifts. What is really cool is the incredible folks that I have had the pleasure of meeting in the last few years and the superhero warp shops (seminar on steroids) that grew out of the super hero cards. It all comes down to our self-image and belief system. And as my friend “Abundant Man” so eloquently put it. “Given the choice, why would anyone do business with a mere mortal, when they can do business with a Superhero?”
Further Reading on Language, Words, and Messaging
- Effective Alliteration with HBR Article on 4C’s of Leadership (read)
- Avoid the Word “Anxious” (read)
- Mr. Right But – A Tragic Love Story of a Man Who Loved “But” (read)
- Always Simplify Your Communication, Even if it is Rocket Science – The Saga with Pluto’s Name (read)
- pizeuxis – Increase Impact with this Word Repetition (read)
Photography Source: Diogenes Ruiz, Superhero Cards