Going to the right conferences pays off
When the Minions need an evil leader to follow, they try their hardest to find one with much frustration. However, going to Villain-Con pays off quickly as they identify the queen of evil right away.
You have to know where people in your industry go to gather and network. Beyond relationships that we have developed over longer periods of time, we have had some of our best shorter-term results with seeking partners and clients at relevant trade shows.
To lead, it helps to be viewed as prototypical of your followers
Scarlett Overkill is the biggest supervillain at Villain-Con, and it is because she is seen as the most evil. She is the most representative and skilled at being evil in a crowd of followers that want nothing more than to be evil. She is emblematic of their values, and that is why she has power.
How are your values in line with those you seek to lead? How do your values diverge? While your values do not have to match completely, emphasizing your values that overlap can help you resonate with your audience, and bring you a lot of success.
Listen to the minions talk. This is what you sound like to people who do not understand English.
Many native English speakers make the bizarre assumption that everyone understands them, if they just speak loudly or slowly enough. Non-English speakers may understand a few words, but that may not mean that they understand generally!
By the way, as a polyglot, when listening to the Minions speak I picked up mostly English and Spanish, with a generous smattering of Italian. I also heard French, Japanese, Turkish, and Hebrew words. I understand that other languages were also drawn upon.
Want to be understood by as many as possible? Work with a team that is multilingual, or hey, work with me. I speak enough languages and have comfort zones in enough cultures and countries to help your company expand globally for a lifetime (after that, you’re on your own).
No matter how adorable Minions are, they need some pretty fancy technology to keep up with their competition and enemies. I won’t spoil everything, but simply being cute does not solve all problems. Sometimes you need a lava gun. Keep developing your technology to stay ahead of the competition, or risk being obliterated.
Due diligence is critical
Not everyone in this world is good, moral, or interested in making a positive difference. Some people are just plain evil. The American legal system has institutionalized a great value and attitude- people should be innocent until proven guilty. However, when it comes to investing your money and reputation, it is better to consider potential partners as “unproven until proven.”
Do your due diligence on a party’s background before doing business with them, because while there are no guarantees, patterns of historical behavior speak volumes. The importance of this is amplified abroad, where you may have less visibility on different players, and where legal recourse can be trickier or limited.
There are so many more great international business and leadership lessons to learn from watching this movie. Please share your thoughts!