In the past 15 years, 50 superhero movies have been released. Hollywood is serving up what the world wants more of, which is obviously tales about people who thought they were average but were, in fact, amazing. This tells us something about humanity: every person wants to be incredible.
The Workplace Needs More Superheroes
Most people dream about making a difference in the world and mastering their talents. However, these dreams don’t often take place in a work context. Why is this? After all, the workplace needs superheroes, too. Many companies are failing and would give anything to have a superhero-manager come in and save the day. Guess what? If you’re in a management position, you can achieve superhero status and potentially even turn things around for your company. Imagine how that would feel.
What is Your Manager Superpower?
Something all superheroes have in common is that they have strengths that are hyper-developed. Usually, superheroes have to activate these powers through training. Like superheroes, individuals in management positions have strengths that can be developed into superpowers through some sort of training process.
A word to the wise: don’t spend time studying the strengths of leaders whom you admire, trying to figure out how to become like them. You could try to build those strengths in yourself, but if they don’t come naturally to you, they will probably not become your superpowers. Instead of looking at the strengths in others, look at the strengths in yourself. That’s the beginning of achieving superhero status.
To find your top strengths, take an online strengths test, or pull out the results of one you’ve taken in the past. Alternatively, ask your direct supervisor what he or she thinks your strengths are. If you are very self-aware, you may be able to figure your strengths out on your own (if this is you, maybe self-awareness is one of your superpowers!). Once you know your strengths, you are ready to go into training mode.
Managers, Achieve Superhero Status THIS Way
Managers, achieving superhero status is simple. All you have to do is 1) discover your strengths and 2) develop them. Don’t major on every single strength. Instead, choose one or two that you want to be defined by, and then take action to become a master of those strengths. Here are some common strengths and ways you can develop them:
- Leadership – If you have a knack for leadership, develop your skills by continuously seeking out opportunities to lead. You are already in a leadership position, but don’t get too comfortable there. Set your sights on being promoted to a greater position of leadership. As you advance in your career, take every opportunity for leadership training that is offered to you.
- Communication – Are you a great communicator? If so, upgrade your communication skills by writing things down. Kevin Daum, a contributor to Inc., encouraged leaders to free up their “brain space” by writing down their key takeaways from conversations. Also, study conflict resolution. If you can become a master at resolving conflicts, you will be irreplaceable to your company.
- Visionary – Visionaries sometimes get picked on for having big ideas but little follow-through. Instead of working on your follow-through skills, continue to build your visionary skills. How? By creating vision boards for every area of your life, discussing ideas with whoever will listen, and reading articles and books about other visionaries (Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Elon Musk, etc.).
What are your personal strengths? What can you do to develop them and achieve superhero status in your life and career?
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