By leading himself into a position of attending Comic Con as a member of the press, Sean Ackerman has put himself in a position to learn and do even more.
This past week I was able to attend the tenth anniversary of the New York Comic Con being held at the Jacob Javitts Center in New York City. As a business professional, it was wonderful to be able to mix my love of pop culture, comics and leadership values. While there I was pleasantly surprised to engage three of the most invaluable leadership traits amongst the throngs of fans and compatriots in the battle against a life filled with creative void.
Leadership Trait #1 — Surrounding Myself with a Like-Minded Community.
It’s funny, individuality is really supported and embraced at New York Comic Con, but with a sense of togetherness. Look at the cosplayers, somebody made a nine and a half foot tall Iron Man Hulkbuster Armor from Avengers 2. That took passion. Look at the fans and supporters that are there, the energy is amazing when people are surrounded by a common or shared focus. It’s a blend of individualized expression and the ability to be accepted by those around you.
In a business setting, we look for the same thing. We look for those singular creative types (maybe a wiz with a spreadsheet or a master strategist ) that are also like-minded or goal driven people that’ll help to elevate and increase the output associated with individuals working for that company. For you, who do you want to surround yourself with? Me, give me Comic Con, give me my freaks and geeks.
Leadership Trait #2 — Mindset and a Plan to Attain Your Goals and Dreams.
A little personal story of my joy of success through having a goal and attaining it. People came to Comic Con for a variety of reasons, whether they wanted to get that special issue of Spiderman or they wanted to meet an artist or TV or film star, or be surrounded by cosplayers and a community and an industry that really loves its fans. They all have their individual goals, whether it’s just to have fun or whether it’s to actually achieve and accomplish something.
I walked into New York Comic Con this year looking for a prize, a Back to the Future 2 replica Pepsi Perfect. Now Marty, Doc Brown and Back to the Future are iconic American staples in my life (I once sat through three continuous showings of the first film.) My father has always been an avid Pepsi drinker, so it’s brand was firmly planted throughout my whole life.
I wanted one. I set out to get one of those Pepsi Perfects and I put a plan in place.
Though the opportunity may not have presented itself to get one of these limited items, heck they only released 1,500 to an audience of 170,000 people, I made up my mind to get one. As a matter of fact I did within the first two hours of my being there. It all came from the ability to believe that I could achieve goal.
Leadership Trait #3 — Action Creates Success
I began my leadership knowledge journey, along with my blogging and podcast, You Leading You, and transitioned that into opportunities in many unexpected areas. One feeler I put out two years ago was my request to gain a press card for New York Comic Con. Since I had gained a sizable audience they thought I was a great fit (A leadership podcast belongs in Comic Con? Absolutely. This one does anyway!)
I was wonderfully surprised when I was accepted, all because I took a step outside of my comfort zone, I took action. I put my best foot forward and in doing so, I was given the ability to be a member of the press at Comic Con. This opened up opportunities for other conventions, movie premieres, book and product launches. It showed me that life is about doing; it’s not about seeing and watching. You can observe all you want on the sidelines, but until you put take that step and make a decision to do something, nothing will change. Action is what brings success. Of course you can be an action hero as well.
I’m glad I was able to visit this year, though it’s funny now that leadership signs are to me like the red car focus. Once you buy a red car, you suddenly see the world filled with them.
I felt so blessed to be able to meet, greet, and see all these amazing people, and at the same time, learn from them as well.
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Photos courtesy of the author