Sean Wise's Be a Business Superhero uses strained and often terrible superhero analogies to explain the working world. He advises workers to craft their own superhero oath, and view Starbucks as their Fortress of Solitude. Read and laugh. Or weep.

Alan Scherstuhl at the Village Voice stumbled across this superhero-themed self-help tome at the clearance rack at a used bookstore, and decided to feature it in his weekly "Crap Archivist" column. Wise, a venture capitalist and former director at Ernst and Young, has strained to find a superhero to fit every business situation (or perhaps a business situation to fit every superhero). Batman's legendary preparedness gets spotlighted, as does the oft-quoted Spider-Man maxim "With great power comes great responsibility," but Scherstuhl also teases out some of Wise's more amusing allegorical handstands:

* "All Green Lanterns report to the blue-hued immortal Guardians of the Universe, so even while the individual patrolmen have virtual autonomy, in the end they each have a boss to report to. The same is true in business." (page 55)

* "So how do Business Superheroes ensure they follow Professor Xavier's example and not get caught up in the zealotry of Magneto? I suggest a three-pronged approach." (page 199)

Wise also suggests that, like Captain Marvel's "Shazam!," you could develop your own magic word to transform yourself into a business superhero, such as GLEW:

G The Integrity of Katherine Graham
L The creativity of George Lucas
E the ingenuity of Thomas Edison
W The leadership of Jack Welch

And there are more such gems (and plenty of snarky retorts) at the Village Voice.


Be the Wolverine of the Photocopier: Studies in Crap Carves Up How to Be a Business Superhero [The Village Voice — Thanks, Gus!]