Would you ask Hulk to answer angry customer calls or Wolverine to tactfully negotiate a contract? Would you hire Captain America to sit behind a desk and do the accounting or ask Thor to run your HR department? If these roles seem miscast, why are each of these Avengers a superhero?
The reason that each Avenger is an Avenger is because they have a superpower and that power is valuable to the team and the mission. Great leaders try to find the power in each team member that makes them super but it cannot be the sole responsibility of our supervisors and leaders to discover our own superpower.
If you don’t know your superpowers, try the following.
Be honest with yourself and think about what you are good at and what brings you satisfaction. While it is great to get out of your comfort zone to grow, it is also really nice to do work where you can excel. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is not a superhero but is a super psychologist, talks about satisfaction in life coming from doing work that allows us to enter a state of flow. Flow is a mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Many times, our strengths are what lead us to be able to enter the flow. Think about the things that you like and are good at. The more you do these things, the more satisfaction you will experience in your life.
Maybe you are one of those people that have a hard time identifying your strengths, either because it feels like bragging, or more likely because it’s just something you do well and therefore it doesn’t feel special. If this is the case, talk with your family, friends, colleagues or former supervisors and ask them to share their thoughts. Ask them to be candid. Most of us are not a mystery to our closest relationships and this feedback can be very helpful with respect to discovering your super powers.
In addition to discovering your super powers, it is also critical to understand your weaknesses. Consider the first paragraph and how poorly suited our heroes would be for the positions described. Just because you are super at something doesn’t mean you are super at everything. Taking the wrong job or promotion and ending up in a role that’s a terrible fit has the potential to disrupt not only your career but the entire organization. All powers come with a corresponding weakness.
If your not in a position that depends upon your strengths, start planning a transition. If you don’t know what your superpowers are, take some time to figure them out.
You have the opportunity to be the star in your own comic book called life, go get it! BAM…...ZAP…….BOOM!
Written by: Austin Meyermann, Founder and President of Hunter Crown, LLC
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