In this article, we explore superpowers....The unique talents and skills you posses which are about the "how" you do the things you do to achieve great results, make a difference and contribute in a positive way.
What are your superpowers?
What are your superpowers ? Yes, superpowers and I don't mean the type found in a marvel comic. Mind you the engineer in me can’t go past Iron Man. What are the talents you have that you believe you can use in a way to achieve something positive? So if asked what are your superpowers ? What would your reply be? Sounds easy, but when you actually stop, reflect, be honest and put some thought into this, you might find yourself thinking it sounds easier that it really is.
Are your superpowers:
- leveraging mathematics to solve everyday challenges
- interpreting a brief and transforming it into a fantastic design
- understanding colours and how they need to be together
- understanding people and motivating them to be great
- prioritisation and effective use of time
- the simple but precious ability to put a smile on someone’s face
- or something else?
This is a difficult question to answer and a question that I believe many Australians would have difficulty answering. Why? Well us Australians have difficulty to acknowledge ourselves, and opt for the more humble approach to “just get stuck into it and get the job done”. To ask an Aussie what they are super good at is even more of a challenge. It is just not in our DNA to talk or boast about what we are super at, at least at a personal level. At a company level, it is easier to hide behind the brand and tell the world about how good we are from an corporate or company angle.
Why bother with identifying your superpowers?
As mentioned, it is not an easy thing to do if you are really being honest. Sometimes, we can have an opinion about ourselves that is more aligned to what we want people to think about us, or is aligned to the type of position or title we want to hold. If we are not truly honest with ourself, the superpowers we claim to have can be a polar opposite to where we are actually at.
I started working for an organisation and inherited an interesting individual who I will refer to as a "chief engineer". This person had worked for the company for over 20 years and had some how been promoted to a position which had “Manager” in his title. This person was an ok engineer, but far from being great and had no organisational management or more importantly leadership qualities. He micromanaged his team, choked them of information and the only good ideas ( according to him) were his ideas. Scratching below the surface, it turns out that my predecessor who was also a micromanager, gave him the title of manager to keep him happy because he did not know what to do with him…Very sad! If you asked him what his superpowers are, it would most likely be something along the lines of: his ability to design solutions. And this is true, but unfortunately they were to problems he caused at great expense and compromise to the organisation because of his narrow minded approach. I would say that his superpower is his commitment to getting the job done or closing things off.
If we are true to ourself about what we are good at but find that we are not actually leveraging those abilities enough across our daily life, we might find ourself struggling to find contentment. By being honest and true to ourself about our superpowers, we can then take a proactive approach to making some changes.
I was asked this question about superpowers, as part of Natalie Sisson’s 10 Day Blog Challenge. Although, I have a reasonable perspective of what I am good at, being Australian, I find it difficult to put pen to paper and write it down, because most Aussies just get on with it. So when reflecting about what my superpowers are, I touched base with some people and conclude the following:
- I am a strategy and details person. I like to get into the nuts and bolts of a situation but at the same time have the ability to take a helicopter view to see the big picture in order to understand and validate if and how all of the details fit in together as part of the strategy.
- I take a genuine interest in people and connect with them and engage with them in a way that encourages trust, confidence and a willingness to achieve excellence. I take my job seriously and I take my commitment seriously but do not take myself seriously.
- Adaptability. Over the years, I have worked in different companies and in different industries subject to variable conditions. Along the way, I learnt the importance of adapting to change, because failing to do so means you get left behind.
- Challenge the status quo. I don't like change for the sake of change. However, quite often I come across situations which don’t make sense and makes me question why is it this way and is there a better way? Learning from previous experience or mistakes is a key aspect for future success and I believe I have a great superpower to identify opportunities for improvement.
The Wrap Up
Superpowers are not so much about what you do, but more so about the "how" you do the things you do to achieve great results or outcomes for yourself and others. Being honest and knowing what they are means that you have better understanding on how your can contribute in a positive and effective way. It is not easy having superpowers because as advised to Peter Parker (aka Spiderman); with great power comes great responsibility.
What are your superpowers?
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Helping Business to Simply Work. Andrew helps product manufacturers and service provider be more competitive, profitable and time effective. His mission is to empower business leaders and teams to take an active part in formulating their future through the mantra "Progress is impossible without change".