The Superman Complex & Customer Service

I, like many other Americans, tuned in to watch the final episode of Smallville this last Friday night. For those not familiar, it is the story of Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, Kansas and his life lessons and upbringing that lead him to become the Man of Steel.

 

 I have to admit I am something of a Superman fan. I have 3 different tee shirts of the great big “S”, paraphernalia, a box of old comics and of course action figures. My daughter is even fascinated by the Big Blue Boy Scout and runs around singing the theme to the movies.

 

 I even suffer from a touch of Superman complex which is the unhealthy sense of responsibility to others and the need to feel they have to save others. They take others wellbeing, mentally and physically, into consideration before they do so  of themselves. They know no limitations. They don’t know when to stop trying to do too much at once and say “no” when asked to perform while already overwhelmed.

 

The upside of this complex is that it helped me to become keen and sharp in my role as a customer service expert and teacher. Because I suffer from this, it has helped me be exceptional at customer service. If you peek around you, you may see others in the field that are the same way.

 

 Where does it stem from? Parents. Surprise!  My mother had a very Martha/Jonathon Kent style do-gooder code she installed into my early programming that made me who I am now.  But it also instilled in me, like young Clark, a destiny. A destiny to be a “turn to person” to make a difference and help others realize their potential in my case, for customer service. We all have the ability. It just sometimes takes an epiphany to trigger it.

 

 I recently started following a Twitter group called #leadfromwithin that is run by its creator Lolly Daskal. Lolly is one of those people that makes you get up on your feet and find your trigger or puts you on the path with what you are supposed to be doing. She also just puts out great feel great quotes about leadership and potential. I met her in real life (or as we say in social media IRL) and we became very fast friends. I encourage you to take a peak in at Lolly’s chats on Tuesday at 8pm on Twitter, if you are on Twitter that is, if not check out her blogs at http://www.lollydaskal.com  You just might find your inner super strength!

 

 So, why the confessional this week? No reason but to share. And I was moved by the final episode of Smallville as my trigger for this post. As a father, it was like watching a son grow into manhood over the last 10 years and watching him take flight (and wear the leotard and cape for the first time) in his journey into his destiny.

 

 As the show ended I went into my daughter’s room and looked down at her small 3 year old frame sleeping soundly. I thought how super she is. How super she will become. I thought, will I be as positive an influence on her as the Kent’s were to Clark? Will my concept of right and wrong be enough a guideline for her on her journey to her destiny? Time will tell.

 

 She will run into kryptonite along the way and she will have her Lex Luthor to deal with.  But she will always have her father and mother. She will soar.

 

 Truth. Justice and the Customer Service Way. (Ok that was a cheap wrap up line but hey…)

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Tags: NYC, complex, customer, inspire, media, motivation, restaurant, service, social, superman, More…training, twitter

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Comment by Ivan Collins on May 18, 2011 at 3:37pm
Nice article Ty.  I think I may have the same complex.  It's not very scalable, but hoping that I can instill pieces of it in the company policy over time.  At least if we can't all be supermen, we can be super most of the time.

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