Really, what are your Super Powers?
This is a question I asked my leadership team looking to challenge all of us to think deeper about what our strengths truly are. (Learn the Super Power Discovery activity.)
Usually, when others are asked what their strengths are, most people will say the usual lame stuff like, “I am hardworking,” or “I am always on time,” and people rarely go deeper than the surface to figure out what sets them apart. Guess what? Most people are hardworking and a lot of people are on time! You cannot save the world with powers like these.
So what if instead, we change the question from “What are your strengths?” to “What are your Super Powers?” It forces you to stop and think just a little more about what makes you unique and gives you an individual edge rather than regurgitating the same old boring crap you think people want to hear.
How do you discover your Super Powers?
To find your Super Powers, it will take some real introspection.
For a few days or even longer, brainstorm a list of your strengths. At first, you will come up with many of the same boring skills most people have. As the days go on you will need to figure out how to observe yourself in the moment. By having a heightened awareness of every word you speak and every action you take, you will be able to see yourself for yourself.
Once you can see yourself through this new lens, you will start to pick up on things you do that others don’t. Sometimes it’s subtle. Sometimes it comes from the Thank You’s of others. Sometimes it will slap you in the face! When you realize what your Super Powers are, you will feel like Superman when he realized he could fly… and shoot fricken lasers out of his eyeballs!
What are some examples of REAL Super Powers?
The end of our activity was to share our newly discovered Super Powers. These abilities are deeply rooted in who we are as people and they are often traits we demonstrate in every aspect of our lives.
- Humor — The ability to inject humor into any type of situation and leverage it as a positive force to help people cope, connect, or become motivated.
- Courage — The ability to rise and challenge oneself to face anything head-on, regardless of its difficulty or their preparedness.
- Structure — The ability to see a situation full of chaos and give it purpose, direction, and clarity for themselves and others.
- And my Super Power, Emotion — The ability to leverage my emotion and instill it within others to inspire, motivate, and to create a movement.
Super Power Pro-tip #1: Don’t lie to yourself!
The worst thing you can do is to lie to yourself and say your Super Power is something you want it to be rather than what it is.
Super Power Pro-tip #2: Leverage others!
Leverage others around you to help you discover your true Super Powers! This takes great trust and openness between humans that are willing to tell it like it is. Find those people and ask them to join you on this introspective journey.
Super Power Pro-tip #3: With great power comes great responsibility.
Okay, I found my Super Power, what do I do with it?
We leverage our new-found special abilities to help each other just like The Avengers leverage each other’s abilities to conquer evil. Thor whips his hammer around and uses it to fly. Captain America has a super shield to protect the group from enemy fire. And, The Hulk smashes when things need smashing.
A good team knows how to leverage each other and that’s exactly what we do. That’s what YOU can do! You need to use these Super Powers to help others who could benefit from your abilities.
Conversely, what’s your Kryptonite?
Similar to understanding your Super Powers, it is vital to understand your Kryptonite. Understanding your Kryptonite is about figuring out what’s the thing that makes you the worst version of you?
You know that situation, personality, or event that makes you become someone you dislike. When you understand what causes you to behave like this crappy version of you, you can then take the first step towards doing something about it.
During our team Super Power discovery activity, I uncovered my Super Power, Emotion, is also my Kryptonite! Remember, this is my Super Power because I can use my emotion to inspire, motivate, and to create a movement. It is also my Kryptonite because inspiration, motivation, and movements are not always positive. They can be sweeping masses of negativity and if I am not careful, these powers can be used for evil rather than for good. (See Pro-Tip #3 above!)
So, I understand my Kryptonite. Now what?
In my case, I need to always be in an introspective state of mind where I am constantly analyzing myself and my emotions. Once my emotions shift towards the dark side, I begin to impact the people and the world around me negatively. Understanding that I need to be in a constant state of checking myself is a skill I needed to develop so I can always try to be the best version of myself.
For you, understanding your Kryptonite should help you understand what steps you can take to do something about it. Conquering your Kryptonite takes practice and time. Your Kryptonite may never be extinguished, but you now can recognize it when it is happening and become a better version of you in those moments.
Kryptonite Pro-tip: Find an Accountabilibuddy Sidekick!
An Accountabilibuddy Sidekick is someone that you have established blind trust with. They will hold you accountable for overcoming your Kryptonites and encourage you to grow into the best version of you!
Now, what are your Super Powers? What’s your Kryptonite?
Thank you for taking the time to read this article about personal development and finding your Super Powers!
About the author:
Calvin is the creator of BuildBetterTeams.org, a writer, and a Technology Leader in the FinTech industry. He is passionate about leadership and helping people build an unstoppable team so that their business and product can thrive. Transitioning from a software engineer to leading a development team is a tough task. Even harder, is growing a large-scale team where everyone knows their role, works collaboratively, executes at a high level, and has fun. If you are looking to accelerate your leadership development and if you want to build a team that you are proud of, follow Calvin and join us at BuildBetterTeams.org!