Do you have a superpower? I would argue that you do, even if you haven’t identified it yet. I’m not talking about the ability to shoot fire or possessing Hulk-like strength but rather things that you seem to do better than others, naturally, and that has helped you excel at work. The idea of each of us having a superpower is not a new one. I didn’t coin this idea, but I do believe identifying and utilizing your superpower is the key to being happy in your work and your life. Have you had a point in your life where you had an ah-ha moment and discovered it? I did, and knowing it now helps to guide me in what opportunities will lead me to true fulfillment.
My superpower is the ability to build trust with people and then be a connector across business functions (R&D, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Supply Chain). This power allows for clear communication across the organization and essentially achieving business results, faster.
I initially realized that being a connector was a differentiator when I worked for my first employer and was able to be a connector between R&D, marketing, consumer insights and culinary. Prior to discovering this important skill and superpower, there were disagreements and negative assumptions between departments leading to frustration, politics and delays due to large egos. I recognized that by being the connector I could help to get everyone on the same page and bridge the gap between highly technical food scientists, creative marketers and chefs. Doing this landed me in a new position, created just for me, called an Innovation Manager. At the time, it was cutting edge job title and I even got to write my own job description. That was awesome!
My first superpower allowed me to grow and excel at my job as an individual contributor and with a small team and as I moved on to working for my next company, I learned the more formalized concepts of a high-performance workplace (HPWP). This leadership training supercharged me further because I learned how to not only apply the skill as an individual contributor but also as a leader. I learned how to build, coach, and grow a team of people who were empowered and trusted others around them to achieve amazing results. This was the rocket fuel I needed to continue to move from Manager to Director and eventually the Vice President level.
This superpower is how I live my life every day, no matter my employer. It also helps me to be successful in the community and my volunteer activities. This is not the only Superpower that can help you grow, just the one that has fueled me. For example, I admire others around me who have superpowers in problem solving, negotiation and creative design.
Now that you know mine, what is your Superpower? Are you using it to its fullest? If not, it might be time to consider how you can align yourself with it so you can meet your fullest potential and be happiest in your life overall. If you are having a hard time identifying one, ask the people around you that you trust most. I’m sure they have some insights to what it may be. Sometimes our superpower is so “normal” to us that we don’t even know it is remarkable. If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear what your superpower is in the comments. Thanks for reading!