Radio Lessons #92 – Stan Lee
The superhero world has lost a superhero.
Stan Lee was a visionary, a creator, an innovator. His incredible creativity and natural writing abilities birthed hundreds of rich characters and memorable storylines in the comic world cementing Marvel as the industry leader both in print and on the big screen.
He was a passionate perfectionist, he was incredibly dedicated to his craft (still working 80 hour weeks at age 95) and was famous for his enormous bandwidth – often managing the storylines and production of up to 40 publications at a time. But this work ethic was not the thing he attributed his success to. It was never work for Stan, it was his hobby, his joy.
Success came for him not due to his love of reading as a child, nor his inquisitive mind, but entirely to his belief in the power of collaboration. He once said“When you collaborate with talented people, they inspire you. I would hope that you spark them also. And I find working with people whom you respect, and who are as eager as you to do things that will excite an audience, that’s the best way to go”.
He believed in hiring complimentary team members not replicates – allowing for differing viewpoints and a more creative balance. He believed in trust and giving praise to those around him. He knew that ‘we’ is always better than ‘me’.
Great radio teams operate the same way. The star of the show is the memorability of the moment created – not any one individual.
Successful teams have collaboration in their DNA. They thrive together and the net result is bigger than the sum of the parts. They honour each other’s viewpoints and offerings, the players have equally weighted opinions and the complete trust of each other. They can spin each other’s ideas into bigger and better creations and are stronger together than they would be alone.
Collaboration can be the first victim of success though – so it has to be protected and worked at, nurtured and grown. With great teams comes great responsibility.