Too bad the timing wasn't better for Captain Marvel and Megan Rapinoe to coordinate. Otherwise, instead of standing like Tinker Bell as she stared down Ronan the Accuser, with his take-no-prisoners Kree military force and shipload of warheads, Carol Danvers' posture would have been a bit more, well, managerial. After all, who of us alive will ever forget the outstretched arms and taunting stance the purple-haired Rapinoe displayed every time she scored during the Women's World Cup? (Alas, the movie appeared months before the American win in France.)

Pose aside, however, there was plenty more signaling that "Vers" was somebody worth following. Recently, a small corps of friends gathered in front of my flatscreen to rewatch the movie (they'd all seen it in the theater), finish off a couple of bottles of California vino and share what struck them about Captain Marvel's management qualities, viewed from their own perspectives as managers.

Warning! Yes, the rest of this column contains a mighty collection of what some might consider spoilers, but that I prefer to call "preparatory notes." I enjoyed my second viewing of Captain Marvel more than my first, not only because I knew what was coming but also because I understood things better. (The wine helped too.) No need to thank me.

It's Not Always Bad to Be Driven by Your Emotions

During a sparring match, when mentor Yon-Rogg has our hero Carol pinned to the floor and her fists begin to sizzle orange in frustration, he tells her, "There is nothing more dangerous to a warrior than emotion." (Oh, how often have we heard, "Don't let your emotions get the best of you"?) Yet leaders know that the passion behind the emotion can drive them and their staff to keep going when things are looking down. On top of that, having a grasp of emotional intelligence—being able to understand your own emotions and influence the emotions of those around you—will get you much further than sheer technical skill. Understanding how people work and what motivates them emotionally is critically important to pulling them in to help you achieve your goals and is far more effective than sending out yet another directive-by-Slack.

Stop Apologizing

Carol has just spent the last five minutes chasing down a continually shape-shifting Skrull through a moving Metro Rail train. Imagine trying to hunt down a prey that can take the form of anybody around you. How do you identify the enemy? But because she's our hero, she has an innate ability to pick out the bad guy, which becomes more obvious when he blasts his way through the top of a railcar and they take the fight up on the roof. As 1990s Los Angeles flashes by in the background, Carol gives as good as she gets until they head into a tunnel. Suddenly, she can't see anything until they stop at the station.

She leaps out of the car to join the surge of people disembarking and spies the shapeshifter walking away, still in the image of the man whose form he last took. She grabs him from behind and he turns, ready to receive the blow. But one look tells her this is the authentic person, not the form stolen by the shapeshifter. Her fist drops and she moves on—with no apology.

Later on, after she's insulted Tom, the guy who lives next door to her BFF Maria, the same thing happens.

As my friend Donna, a college instructor, pointed out, "Look at that! She didn't apologize. Women apologize far too freakin' much."

Sure, a good manager is capable of saying, "I'm sorry," but not every time she makes a blunder. So when does an apology pass Carol's lips? Only when she finds out just why Skrull General Talos has been trying to capture her. And then it's an authentic apology, born of self-awareness. When a manager uses "sorry" too much, it loses impact and can be perceived as weakness.

Jump on the Problem

Carol and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Fury are in a hidden government mountain bunker hunting down information about the mysterious Dr. Lawson, whom Carol believes holds the key to stopping the Skrulls from taking over the universe. When the pair tell officials why they're there, they're locked into a nameless office. After a half-hearted attempt to get free, Fury pulls out his "state-of-the-art two-way pager" and sends a furtive message to his work partner, Agent Coulson: "Detained with target. Need backup."

Carol expresses curiosity about the "communicator" and Fury reassures her that he's only texting his mom.

When they finally do escape, Carol comes under attack again from what we believe at first to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. team; Fury has led them right to her. He quickly realizes, however, that appearances can be deceptive and rejoins Carol in her attempt to leave the bunker, this time via fighter jet. They barricade themselves on the bunker's flight deck, and moments from certain doom, Carol holds her hand out. She wants Fury to give her the communicator. Now. As she tells him, "You obviously can't be trusted with it."

"She jumps right on it," observes my friend Staci, firefighter and forest aviation officer. "She doesn't let it fester." She takes care of what she views as a problem immediately. Good managers don't avoid conflict.

Likewise, they don't hold grudges. That takes too much energy.

Let Your People Lead Up

When Carol's friend Maria is invited to join the mission as a co-pilot to track down Dr. Lawson's ship in a jerry-rigged plane, she begs off. As a single mom, she reminds Carol that she can't leave her daughter Monica. "There's no way I'm going, baby," she says. "It's too dangerous."

But Monica won't have any of that. "Testing brand new aerospace tech is dangerous. Didn't you use to do that?" she suggests. Besides, she adds, she'll stay with her grandparents.

Maria turns to Carol, who's listening in on the conversation. "Your plan is to leave the atmosphere in a craft not designed for the journey, and you anticipate hostile encounters with a technologically superior foreign enemy. Correct?"

Carol doesn't say a word; just shrugs. But Monica speaks up: "That's what I'm saying. You have to go." Besides, she adds, "I just think that you should consider the kind of example you're setting for your daughter."

And so Maria heads off with Carol and the rest of the gang. That's a clear-cut case of a manager allowing her people to "lead up," to make the big decision. For growth to happen, those at every level need to exert influence on the people above them in the organizational chart and managers can help them do that by responding favorably to their ideas.

When You Fall Down, Get Back Up

Failure hurts. In Carol's case, that includes crashing a go-kart as a kid, falling off a climbing rope as a young woman, and putting up with another pilot—this one male—in a bar, over a beer, telling her she's a "decent pilot, but [she's] too emotional."

Later on, these scenes re-emerge, but this time we get to see how those scenes play out, with Carol picking herself up after every failure. Sure, it's a montage just like the ones Nike feeds us, but those commercials get a bazillion views because they work. Managers don't give up; they get up.

"Failure, failure, failure, failure," said Staci. "You keep getting up and that will get you closer toward your goal."

Don't Let Anybody Tie Your Hands

Throughout Captain Marvel, Carol is handicapped from using her full powers. In that opening fight scene, she complains to Yon-Rogg that he won't let her use her special energy waves, and he insists that if she were ready to apply them, she'd also be able to knock him down without them. Later, when she confronts the head of her old planet, the Supreme Intelligence, she realizes that she's "been fighting with one arm tied behind my back" and yanks out the chip attached to her neck that they've been using to control her. Finally, in a scene with her former mentor, Yon-Rogg tosses away his weapon and eggs her on, encouraging her to just "turn off the light show" and fight him arm to arm. Her response as she blasts him away: "I have nothing to prove to you."

The best managers don't force their people to act in ways that minimize their powers. They embrace the brilliance, help them turn their flaws into good qualities and allow them to remain true to themselves.

Yes, Sometimes You Have to Do the Dirty Jobs

After saving C-53, otherwise known as Planet Earth, it's only right that Carol and Fury wash the dishes. Even superheroes need to help out with household chores. And like them, managers should always look for opportunities to do the grunt work, if only to remember how hard and mind-numbing it can sometimes be.

Plus, said Suzanne, an administrative services officer for a county government (and my wife), "Doing tasks with people can sometimes lead to greater strength of relationships for the people you need to have follow you."

Compile Your Playlist

Heck, yeah, few jobs are as hard as managing people. But music can help you, like nothing else, push through the limitations, recommit to the mission, and inspire your team to keep up. What's on Captain Marvel's playlist? For a few, try Heart's "Crazy on You," No Doubt's "Just A Girl," and Des'ree's "You Gotta Be."

With tunes like that and a little work honing that inspirational stance, Danvers, I'd think about signing onto your team.