When it comes to intrinsic motivation and social DNA, there is a lot we can learn from even fictional comic book characters like Batman and Superman.
Batman – CVS (Compelling Value & Stewardship)
Let’s start with the caped crusader. He was created as a CVS. We won’t go into major detail here as you can simply read the standard CVS archetype hero in our post on James Bond. But as an overview, the CVS is independent, private, relentlessly resourceful (he has no superpowers so he needs all his tools) and has no problem with the grays of morality. Batman won’t think twice in using guile or underhanded tactics to gain an advantage. He happens to be a billionaire which also adds to the CVS standard approach to maximizing resources to make things happen.
If we had to peg this Dark Knight’s secondary MDNA, we think he would be UCD (Unyielding Conviction & Design) based on recent incarnations. So final verdict for Batman is CVS/UCD.
Now Batman’s Man of Steel counterpart is more interesting.
Superman – From UCD to SSA (Back to UCD?)
Superman is traditionally known as a boy scout. He has been portrayed with a strong sense of purpose, morality, selflessness, incorruptibility, modesty, fairness, compassion, and hope. Superman was raised to believe that his abilities are gifts, and are not to be abused. This is classic SSA (Sacrificial Service & Authority). His alter ego Clark Kent plays to the SSA even more by being in the background and just wanting to help people in need.
But deep down inside Superman is a brooding anger which shows up in many stories over the years. When he was originally created, he was not the boy scout we all see as the perfect American hero–the best in us we all want. This SSA was imprinted upon him by his adopted human parents. The alien Superman is a UCD with a deep sense of conviction that can be very hard on himself and others. His convictions are so strong they can seem naively optimistic, while being respectful of the law and intolerant of any abuse of power. The UCD will make issues black and white while attempting to fix the problem. This seems to be the Superman we are seeing in the new iteration of movies from DC Comics directed by Zack Snyder.
If we had to commit, we’re going with Superman as UCD/SSA. He is a UCD deep down but has learned to serve the greater good as an SSA and maintain his mild mannered alter ego the same way.
When CVS and UCD Collide
What we know is that the CVS and UCD can be a potent combination. There are many famous CVS and UCD combos such as Bill Gates (CVS) / Paul Allen (UCD) and Warren Buffet (CVS) / Charlie Munger (UCD). As beneficial the synergies can be however, the two gifts, when at odds, can be quite destructive. Especially when the black-and-white-world of the UCD meets the world-where-everything-is-gray of a CVS. This seems to be the premise of the upcoming Batman v Superman movie that pits the two heroes against each other to eventually becoming allies.
Of course there is Wonder Woman. As an amazon princess, we’re betting DLF (Dominion Leadership & Freedom). But that’s for a future profile.
We’ll be sure to do a follow up when we finally watch the movie.
Fictional characters also can have MDNA profiles. Typically every great character is based upon somebody in real life, except the persona and core traits are amplified. This makes learning the principles of their MDNA profile much easier and a valuable exercise. Not to mention it can be fun and entertaining.