Nobody wanted to be the sidekick when we were kids playing at the park. Jumping over hot lava and alligator pits at the playground (didn’t you have those under the monkey bars?) – it was important for all of us to be superheroes.
Growing up and working, making decisions, and jumping over symbolic hot lava, I’ve realized that either having sidekicks or being a great one is crucial. There’s a reason why the term “trusty sidekick” was born. And let’s be honest – managers in the middle end up being sidekicks more than heroes.
If you’re a hero, a great sidekick has your back, shore up your weak points, and make you explain your thinking.
If you’re a sidekick, appreciate that you bring unique perspectives to the job, you extend the reach of the hero, and you make your hero look good. If you’ve got a good hero (and not an evil super villain), you’re supported, protected, and appreciated.
For fun, here are some heroes and their sidekicks:
- Don Quixote/Sancho Panza
- The Green Hornet/Kato
- Mr. Incredible/Frozone
- Iron Man/Lt Col James Rhodey
- Captain Kirk/Spock
- Bilbo Baggins/Samwise Gamgee
- Harry Potter/ Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley
- The Lone Ranger/Tonto
- Winnie the Pooh/Piglet
- Charle Bucket/Grandpa Joe
- Johnny Carson/Ed McMahon
- Sherlock Holmes/Watson
- Fred Flintstone/Barney Rubble
- Andy Taylor/Barney Fife
- Sheriff Woody/Buzz Lightyear
- Han Solo/Chewbacca
This is by no means an all inclusive list. Got any others?