8 Leadership Lessons from Super Mario Bros

This September, it has been 30 years since Super Mario Bros, one of the most sold video games ever, was released. To celebrate this anniversary, we have gathered these 8 leadership lessons from the most famous plumber in the world:

1. Face the unknown

In his adventures, Mario Bros goes through unexplored ground and gets inside hidden holes. The famous plumber does not seem to be afraid to face the unknown, and most of the time he gets success in return. Do as Mario; do not fear experimenting and taking chances. Go for it; take a risk.

2. Be positive

While remaining realistic, successful leadership must maintain a positive attitude and convey that optimism to the rest of the team. If Mario can keep being enthusiastic despite all the dangers (falls into emptiness, spikes, water, lava) and his enemies, we too can adopt a positive attitude that will help us overcome the challenges we come across.

3. Adapt to changes

In the snow, in the desert, underwater, in the air, in a castle, alone or with company… no matter how, Mario always finds a way to adapt to his environment. To Arthur Schopenhauer, “Change is the only unchanging thing”: there will always be changes. Therefore, like the mustachioed plumber, you have to be willing to adapt to any circumstance that may come your way. Your ability to adapt to change will determine your leadership.

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4. Establish short and medium term goals

Mario Bros has a long term goal (we will tell you what it is further on), but in every stage he needs to focus on small goals if he wants to keep beating levels. Follow our friend’s example and clearly establish what your short and medium term goals are. Work with realistic deadlines that will help you move forward and avoid procrastinating in your day-to-day. To achieve that, there are many tools at your disposal that will help you be more productive.

5. Clearly define your big long-term goal

We all know the big goal Mario pursues: saving Princess Peach. Each of the stages Mario beats will get him a little closer to that great purpose. Imitate the great Nintendo hero and make sure you have a great long-term goal, however ambitious it is. In other words, think of the future and check that everything you do will help you get a little closer to your big goal, just like Mario and his princess.

6. Seek self-confidence

When Mario touches the mushrooms around him, he grows in size and his power increases. Same as the most popular Nintendo character, look for that which will increase your confidence and generate security. Build up your confidence through relationships with your colleagues, the acceptance of challenges, participation in proposals and decision-making, etc.

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7. Be a team player

Mario Bros’ family is very large. The legendary plumber is accompanied by his brother Luigi, Yoshi the dragon, Princess Peach, Toad the mushroom, the Koopa turtles, and of course Bowser, his enemy. Anyway, depending on the version, Mario is always surrounded by other characters he interacts with in different ways. Similarly, to develop your leadership role, you will have to learn to socialize with different people and make the best of each of them in order to get your team to operate successfully.

8. Celebrate and compliment

If there is anything characteristic about videogames, and especially with the franchise created by Shigeru Miyamoto, is the reward system. Every obstacle overcome by Mario allowed him to get hundreds of coins, get a 1-up or unlock new worlds. The more prizes, the more energy and lives Mario Bros got. Learn from him and acknowledge the accomplishments of your team. Be sure to compliment when objectives are achieved and reward successful performances. It will not only benefit your business, but it will also strengthen you as a leader.

What else can you learn from Mario Bros? Maybe you can also learn something reading these leadership lessons from Julius Caesar.

Image: JD Hancock / Flickr

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