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Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the MCU

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Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the MCU

Exploring Effective Leadership Practices Through Popular Culture

Emerald Publishing Limited,

15 min read
11 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You can run a team like Captain America and T’Challa run theirs, but without repeating their mistakes.

Editorial Rating



  • Scientific
  • Well Structured
  • Overview


Professors Gordon Schmidt and Sy Islam pull leadership lessons from popular Marvel films – one of the most profitable franchises in history – and apply them to organizational practices. They break down how characters like Iron Man and T’Challa lead their teams. The authors hold up these Marvel characters as exemplars of sound leadership, while also pointing out the blunders they make so that you never do the same. Readers who are unfamiliar with the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) might find the authors’ teaching paradigm a bit less thrilling, but fans will have a good time.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), one of history’s most successful film franchises, offers numerous leadership lessons.

Leadership is a recurring theme in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as heroes lead teams on adventures to conquer their foes. Characters, such as Iron Man and Black Panther, work as part of a team, as do the films’ directors, writers, actors and visual effect artists. Each individual contributes something vital to the final product.

In the business world, likewise, the outcome of any endeavor usually comes as a result of people working together. Leadership isn’t meant only for CEOs, bosses and managers; the mantle of leadership belongs to anyone who has an impact on others’ actions or mind-sets and shapes what they do. Every team member practices leadership at every step of his or her career. 

Select the right leaders and maintain a sturdy leadership pipeline.

Leaders, even those like Thor and T’Challa, who were born to lead, must demonstrate their mettle before they can take command. Both Thor and T’Challa had to prove their leadership skills and...

About the Authors

Gordon B. Schmidt, PhD is a teacher and management researcher at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Sy Islam, who co-founded Consulting with Talent Metrics, teaches Industrial Organizational Psychology at Farmingdale State College in New York.

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