Superheroes among us

Action is his reward.

My favorite childhood superhero was Spider-Man. I loved reading the comic book series, seeing the villains stopped, and the thinking about the vivid colors in the red and blue suit. I remember wishing I could spin webs like old spidey. I loved the theme song to 60s cartoon as well. Towards, the end there is a great line:Spiderman_by_pauloskinner

Spiderman, Spiderman

Friendly neighborhood Spiderman

Wealth and fame

He’s ignored

Action is his reward.

I love the concept of finding reward in the challenges and action required to solve a puzzle or problem. It’s a fundamental motivator in the workplace.

Superheroes living among us.

Jump forward to today. I’m still enamored with superheroes. But they don’t live on comic book pages or cartoons. These are people that benefit my daily routine with their God given ability and strengths which I like to call “superpowers.” I’m talking about what someone is really good at. It’s that thing that they do really well and may not even realize it because it comes natural to them. It defines them in the workplace and gives them success in specific areas. It helps them create their value to the organization.

Here’s a few superpowers I’ve discovered within others:

  • The ability to remain calm and level-headed when accused wrongly or spoken to unprofessionally by others. This means remaining focused on solving the core problem and not letting emotional reactions further charge the situation. That’s a customer service super power that many need but few have.
  • The ability to know things your manager needs in advance. This could be answering a question before it’s asked.  It could be supplying your manager with the information they need to make a decision. This superpower is about anticipation, understanding the situation, and making the correct reads.
  • The ability to suggest a different opinion or view-point on a subject without making the other person think they have been judged, insulted, or measured wrongly. This is the person that can steer a conversation and topic to have varying view-points without escalating tensions. This is the person that brokers a mutually beneficial agreement to a situation where two parties are opposed.

Look around. The world is full of super powered people.

These folks may not have comic books written about them. They aren’t in movies. But they are fun to watch and cheer. They make our lives easier just like the superheroes of our youth. Action is their reward.

If you want to try something fun do this. Observe a few of your closest colleagues and record what they are really good at doing. Look at their work and behavior from different angles because their biggest strength could be a soft skill. Then reveal what you believe their greatest strength is by saying to them “I know what your superpower is.” That’s a great conversation starter. It’ll set the stage for some good dialogue between the two of you and definitely leave your colleague with something to think about.