Superman needs Kryptonite

If kryptonite didn’t exist, would you cheer for Superman? If action heros never get scratched, would you root for them? If leaders never admit mistakes, would you follow them?

We all know that perfection is an asymptote – something we approach but never reach. Why then, is perfection or being infallible so revered by people in power? If you interviewed me and asked what I feel my greatest weakness was and I said “nothing”, you’d call “bullshit” and move to the next candidate. And rightfully so. To avoid claiming your errors or pointing fingers to make sure the blame does not land on you is a sign of fear, not perfection. It’s also a sign of low self-awareness and accountability.

People are inspired by Superman BECAUSE he has a weakness. There would be no point in cheering for a foregone conclusion. People do not follow perfect leaders, they are not inspired by people who hide their mistakes. People are inspired by those who dare great things, fall, and get back up. We are inspired by resilience, grit, perseverance, and those who chose to get up one more time and push on. We cheer for the boxer who gets knocked down and gets back up at the count of 8, we cheer for the little guy who was beaten 9 times but comes back to win the 10th, we cheer for “Rudy“, the “Gipper”, and we follow those who show us that life is hard, you do not have to be perfect to be great, you just have to keep getting up more often than everyone else.

The world is changed by the people who keep getting up. Sure, you need to be good at what you do, but before you try to be perfect, be inspiring.