For a good lesson in building a following, you might try the movie: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The main ape Ceasar (named for Julius Ceasar and his massive takeover the Roman Empire.)(Actually, yeah, you may want to study his real history for better insight, but for this post we’ll just study a fictional chimpanzee.) SPOILER ALERT! if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll still get a lot out of this post, but I talk about some specific scenes. If you are a movie enthusiast, you may want to watch it first.
There are a few good qualities of a leader which, you must know if you are to be a comic book leader in the comic book industry.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS ARE STRANGE
Leaders start out with something inherently different inside them. They have experienced something that not everyone else has experienced before. In the movie, Ceasar had some leftover DNA from his pregnant mother, who had been tested on by scientists for a drug that could cure Alzheimer’s. In real life, comic book leaders have to have seen something differt about them that will make a big difference in themselves and in the lives of others. Something really big and really preposterous, like selling 12 books for $3 million dollars or something like that.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS ARE TESTED
In the movie, Ceasar got put into a pen with every other ape. Clearly, the dominant leader of this new group was the one who pushed everyone around. He made it known to Ceasar early that he was in charge. They fought, he won. End of story…. Almost. A Comic Book Leader has to rise to the challenge placed before him. Everyone of us will be tested by trials and limitations, and people telling us we are no good. We must find a way to test ourselves and overcome, so when others test us, we will be prepared.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS FIND OTHER LEADERS
Ceasar’s plan for becoming leader was to find the current leader and gain respect from the rest of the tribe. There was a massive gorilla in a cage that could never get out of his cell because he was SO BIG and SO POWERFUL, the owners did want to give him the slightest room to make trouble. Ceasar knew he had to help to gain respect from the power players if he was going to be able to lead the tribe. Comic book leaders see those who are making big waves in the comic book industry and don’t care about the small wins, they want to make the big moves that will set themselves up for the future.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS GIVE VALUE
To earn all the other apes respect, Ceasar first got the big Gorilla out of his cage. He was able to run free for the first time since being captured. Secondly, he went to the bully Gorilla, go him out of his cage and hit him as hard as he could. The bully leader was stunned but with the Gorilla backing up Ceasar, he was outnumbered and had to give his allegiance. With all the other apes looking on. This solidified Ceasar’s position in the tribe.
Later Ceasar got some cookies and gave one to the bully leader first. Then he made the bully leader give cookies to every other ape. Comic book leaders must give true value, if they ever hope to make a difference in the lives of others. You can’t bully your way to a position of power and have anyone like you.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS HAVE VISION FOR JUSTICE and GOODNESS
Ceasar didn’t know how he was going to accomplish what he was going to accomplish, but he knew he wanted to bring a Renaissance against cruelty to his kind. Ceasar knew that he could help all the apes get their freedom and lead them all to a better place than where they are right now. Without this vision, there is nothing to fight for. Comic book leaders have to stand for higher than standard principles. Comic book leaders are tired of people not being able to pay their bills. They are tired of having our workforce work all hours of the night for a crazy deadline that may or may not even be important. Comic book leaders care about creating a healthy, wealthy industry that will grow into prosperity instead of being an evil media step-child.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS ARE RESOURCEFUL
To help develop other leaders in the tribe, Cesar found a way to get out of his cage, found a way to sneak home and find medicines that would increase all the other ape’s intelligence.
Comic book leaders must seek resources outside of where they are at if they are going to succeed. They must tap into business, and marketing of other industries that have had success, and see where we can go to create lasting impact for the comic book media.
COMIC BOOK LEADERS WANT EVERYONE TO SUCCEED.
After the success of the escaping captivity, the apes found their sanctuary amoung the redwoods. Every ape was better off. Every ape could live well. Every ape was free. Comic book leaders, give their talents, their vision, their actions so all creators can succeed and thrive. Separately comic creators are weak. United comic creators are strong. One vision. One band. One song.
What other parallels from leadership can you draw from this movie? How are you going to make a difference by becoming the comic book creator leader you were meant to be?