The best team I ever led in my career was based on superpowers.
It was a fun process to figure out each superpower — the thing every person had that the rest of the team could really count on.
Each team member received a list of the best and most unique traits that others on the team liked, valued and considered as very important for the team’s success.
After reviewing the list, and sometimes adding to it, deleting from it and consulting with others, each team member selected the top superpower that s/he would offer whenever it was needed.
And then everyone got a title — the kind you put on a superhero cape, not the kind you put on a business card — that cleverly described the superpower.
Below is the team by our fancy pancy superpower titles with a bit about the thing they did best.
The Biscuit Butterer thrived on and took great pride in preparing all of the materials, processes and behind-the-scenes stuff that allowed all other teammates to do their complex work seamlessly.
The Calm, Cool and Collected was unflappable in our dynamic (even sometimes chaotic) circumstances, which boosted team confidence and generated team enthusiasm when it was most needed.
The Champion Champion-Identifier had the instinctual ability to find partners who shared our team’s vision as well as the ability to collaborate, which allowed us to exceed our goals in shorter timeframes.
The Energy, with Style cultivated so many opportunities and managed such a full ‘to do list’ that the team was convinced that daily fabulous outfits (accessories and shoes, too) were the secret weapon to success.
The Jenga Master had an uncanny way of thinking in big picture and small detail, for both the short- and long-term, allowing the team to create opportunity, avoid disaster and spotlight the best ways to success.
The Passionate Advocate had spent years doing the kind of work our team did, and was deeply committed to our team’s outcomes — the more successful we were, the more we could improve, and even save, lives.
The Pillar of Masterly Acumen had the deepest subject matter expertise in our work and could be counted on to find (and fix!) the errors made by any member of our team……or any experts in the industry.
The Resilient Go-Getter ran into more obstacles than anyone else on the team, yet declined to (understandably) decrease her goals and pursued every opportunity in order to exceed them (which is what happened).
The Savvy Optimist put forth a kind and gentle nature that many others thought they could take advantage of, then backed it up with whip smart knowledge and tough-minded persistence which gained her much respect.
The Voice of Reason found the logical and practical ideas in our collective sea of creativity and enthusiasm, allowing our team to produce outrageous outcomes in a focused way while having a lot of fun.
By focusing on our best talents, we achieved tremendous results. Even the top leaders of the billion dollar global company we worked for asked How did you do that?
While writing this post, it was fun to remember our team talents that made us so successful. While reading this post, did you forget that at least one of these team members is “disabled”?
Assuming you have — which is the point here — how can you continue to focus on the superpowers of others, rather than the “disabilities” you perceive?