What’s Your Superpower?
Have you ever considered your superpower? I ran across this question in an article on MSN about CEO’s favorite interview questions, and it got me thinking — how would I answer this question? Most of us don’t think in terms of having superpowers, but if we take a moment to stop and consider what we do best, that’s a superpower!
Some of the executive coaching and professional development clients I work with are successful people who have achieved a certain level of status and accomplishment in their professional lives. At the same time, they’re lacking confidence. They believe they’re imposters, worried that someone will find out ‘they’re not all that,’ or they don’t promote their talents because ‘that might come off as bragging,’ and they don’t want people to think they’re the type to toot their own horn. We all, however, have strengths!
One of my favorite assessments is StrengthsFinders, which looks at 34 different ‘strengths’ people have. You take a quiz and based upon your answers, it determines your top strengths. The book’s philosophy is simple: developing your natural strengths will take you farther than working on your weaknesses. Your weaknesses are just that for a reason: they are attributes that don’t come naturally to you. Taking your strengths and running with them will help differentiate you from the pack, and enable you to stand out in a way that’s authentic and true to who you really are. In other words, it can help create awareness about your natural ‘superpowers.’
I often give talks about personal brand, or as I like to put it – what do people say about you when you leave the room, and how can you influence that conversation? It’s communicating your personal brand and what you want to be known for. For many of us, we want to proactively communicate our strengths! Who wants to just be left at the mercy of what people say? Communicate your strengths through your words and actions, and how you want others to remember you. That’s your personal brand, your superpower.
So what do I consider my superpower? While my number one StrengthsFinder attribute is Maximizer (transforming something strong and making it superb), I’m choosing ‘equanimity’ as my superpower. The dictionary defines ‘equanimity’ as ‘mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.’ My many years as a news anchor helped me develop this skill, especially during breaking news. Everything and everyone could be total chaos all around you, and yet, as a reporter and/or anchor, I had to focus on the key elements of the story and relaying information in a concise and orderly manner. As a coach, I often use the same approach: a client can be overwhelmed, or swirling in the middle of everything going on with them, and I like to take a step back and calmly help them find the key pieces of their situation that will help move them forward.
What’s your superpower? Do you have more than one? How are you sharing it with the world? As always, I’m interested in seeing your comments.