Reflecting on Superheroes

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By Bill Algee, CRA, FAHRA

POW! Wham! Ka –POW! Splat!

Those are the action words used on the old Batman cartoon TV series to describe the superhero battles between Batman and Robin and their arch enemies, The Joker, Penguin, or Catwoman, and their henchmen. I vividly remember watching this program after school or on the weekends (I wasn’t old enough to see the original airing), and then my buddies and I would play and act out these scenes, complete with the words that exploded above the fighting. On occasion the action may have gotten a little too real, but you get the idea.

I’ve been thinking about superheroes recently after reviewing my notes from Kevin Brown’s keynote addresses about heroes at this past July’s Annual Meeting. A few key points that he made stood out to me:

  • “Can you bring ‘it’ to this place, right here, and do what needs to be done on this ‘stage’ right now?” Some days that is a challenge for me. I get caught up in the hundreds of emails and on occasion suffer from analysis paralysis. As a leader I have to be better at gathering the information and making the decision.
  • “Heroes see life through a lens of optimism.” How many times do we, or our teams, get caught up in the moment and focus on how a decision is going to negatively impact us, without taking the time to see the big picture? I try to see meaning behind any big decision or action and believe those aren’t made with a bad outcome in mind. As leaders we are challenged to lead our teams through these situations.
  • And lastly, when thinking of a being a hero to your team or making and impact on them: “Who’s better because you showed up today?” As a leader, my team looks to me to be there for them at every battle with their villains. I used to think I was called to be Mighty Mouse (whose theme was “Here I am to save the day!”), but I have learned that is not what leadership is about. Leadership is listening and supporting my team to find solutions and make decisions. It may be helping them to face challenges that are beyond our control, and reassuring them we are here fighting together. I want to be that person every day, but that can be a challenge.

The AHRA has taken the challenge of being a superhero to a whole new level with a great National Radiologic Technology Week campaign, Celebrating Superheroes in Healthcare. I hope you ordered your posters and buttons and create some fun activities to celebrate your team’s superpowers that week. Don’t forget to share your celebrations with your AHRA peers by e-mailing your photos to!


Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da… Batman!

-Neal Hefti

Bill Algee, CRA, FAHRA is the 2018-2019 president of the AHRA Board of Directors. He is the director of imaging services at Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, IN and can be reached at

One comment

  1. I have been thinking a lot about his talk as well! Great points you made and I would add one more, “Choose to NOT be ordinary!”

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