Theme: BECOMING A SUPER (S)HERO
Every (s)hero has a learning journey
It is no secret that I am really into (s)heroes – I love to read about their sometimes unusual development.
Starting a journey with inexperienced (s)heroes and see how they grow into the person they are supposed to be. And every (s)hero faces obstacles like doubting if they are worthy, feeling out of place, struggling with their place in the group or fighting a serious illness. On top of their own struggles super (s)heroes fight villains, who attacked them for being themselves or for just being on a journey.
And while some villains can be fought individually, when those villains grow stronger, super (s)heroes know they need to team up to fight them. While I’m into reading comics for more than a decade now – it is not the classic super (s)hero stuff I am reading. I prefer graphic novels, which have a start and an end over everlasting stories which always come back to an illusion of change.
My first and still favourite comic is Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman”. I love the change of the character and his vulnerability combined with a wonderful story and a lot of real world anecdotes. A lot of other comics followed, and I enjoyed the endless possibilities provided by the combination of drawn pictures and the storyline. And then I entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and they had me way before the famous “I am Iron Man”.
It was fun to watch and to analyse – until today I cannot name my favourite super (s)hero. The Hulk – what’s not to like about a doctor who turns green when he is angry ;) – or Black Widow – who is so wonderful human in between all the enhancement – or Captain America, whose willingness to fight for others and freedom “all day” gave me an interesting view on leadership. These characters who were fighting for a cause and still struggling with their personal issues resonated with me – as this is what I realised applies also in other aspects of my life and those of others.
Also I really enjoyed the meta-level on why we as a society like to hear about (s)heroes and why we might need so many of them. Some people don’t like the term “super (s)hero” when talking about everyday humans. They criticise that these are people who set an unreachable standard for others, won’t play along and will foster an unhealthy work environment. This is not what I think about when I talk about real super (s)heroes.
For me super (s)heroes are people who : – take on responsibility for themselves and if necessary others – fight villains – focus on their strengths instead of weaknesses – set an example for others – are not ashamed of their vulnerability – need other super (s)heroes to trust to have their backs and fight on their side I know a lot of super (s)heroes! I know people who fight their personal villains every day, who struggle with their place in a group, who take on a lot of responsibilities to make this world a better one. I see them struggle and I see them win those fights!
Not all of them and not every day, but they will win eventually and sometimes even in very small steps. For this conference let us hear about your learning journeys and how you fought a villain.
How you focused on your strengths and how it felt? How you mastered a new skill to become a better tester? How you teamed up with other super (s)heroes and what you learned by doing so? When we talk about these topics we might all learn something new and become better super (s)heroes at the end!