How To Be A Superhero

Superheroes have them – why not you and me? Discover how to bring out your superpowers.

In a previous article, I let you in on my love for superhero movies and began a series of profiles of some hugely successful leaders that seem to be superhuman starting with Elon Musk.

However, you don’t have to be rich or famous to be a superhero. I believe each of us has a little bit of superhuman in us if we know how to find it. Let’s talk about how to get your “superpower” on.

1. Identify Your Superpower 

One thing that every superhero has is a superpower. It is that strength or “special” thing that puts them in a class all their own and distinguishes them from the masses. Whether it’s X-ray vision to see through steel like Superman or incredible strength like the Hulk, there’s something they can do that ordinary people can’t possibly accomplish. For every DC or Marvel Comic character that has been invented, there is some superpower that makes them superhuman.

So how do you go about discovering your superpower? Your superpower is going to be some internal behavior that you possess and likely take for granted.

Start by identifying what you’re insanely good at.

You may not be aware of its potential power or paused to recognize the significance of this trait in the past.

Think about a time when you did something spectacular. Everyone has at some point or time did something that demonstrated brilliance. For some of us, we might need to remove that humility/modesty filter that causes us to negate or downplay accomplishments or praise. To start to discover your superpower, you have to be willing to admit to yourself that you know you knocked it out of the park when you did “_____”. Keep repeating this process until something jumps out at you. Bruce Kasanoff wrote an excellent article on not letting modesty be a curse.

Reflect on that time and specifically identify, what you did, what role you played. What actions did you take or behavior did you display that was uniquely yours, a flash of something extraordinary, perhaps you had no idea you had it in you. That trait you demonstrated quite possibly is your hidden superpower. A superpower is an extraordinary internal strength that you can tap into, and it helps you be successful.

2. Answer the Call 

Superheroes have great timing and know when to answer the call. Remember how whenever Batman is needed in Gotham City, they put up the Bat signal in the night sky? And what does Batman do every time he sees the signal? He answers it, right. He knows when he is needed and then responds. Now, can you imagine what would happen if Batman just started showing up in full superhero mode when no one needed him? Picture him driving up in the Batmobile and asking, “Hey, does anyone have a crisis that needs to be resolved?” No, that would never do.

Superheroes give others the space they need to work. They resist showing off their superpowers or barging in where they are not needed, BUT they’re ready to help and collaborate when needed.

3. Know your Kryptonite 

Being a superhero doesn’t mean that you don’t have any weaknesses.

We all know that Superman has a huge weakness when it comes to kryptonite; it renders him weak as a newborn baby.

Similarly, being a great leader is not about having no weakness. It’s knowing what your weaknesses are and then trying to avoid stepping on those landmines. There are plenty of good books, e.g. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, that emphasizes the importance of not spending a lot of time trying to develop your weaknesses and instead focusing on your strengths. Surrounding yourself with a great team and those with strengths that balance out your weakness is another way to insulate yourself from your kryptonite.

4. Committed to a Bigger Cause 

Many superheroes are responding to some cause or purpose. For a great example, we only need look Wonder Woman. One thing that is clear about Wonder Woman is that she believes in the goodness of humankind and wants to help them. After all, that’s the main reason she left her Amazon family and chose to stay with mere humans.

People who are committed to something greater than themselves are shown to be better leaders. When the heart and purpose involved, it is a powerful motivator and taps into something powerful.

5. Know When to Recharge and Have Fun

Lest we forget, all superheroes need some downtime. Whether it’s getting away by themselves or hiding out with their human love interest, knowing when to recharge is essential. Tony Stark is one of the best examples of this. While Iron Man has tremendous strength and abilities but powered by his Arc Reactor, he knows when it is time to get a recharge. Superheroes who constantly push themselves and don’t take time out to relax and recuperate run the risk of burning out.

Having some FUN along the way makes life sweeter.

Life is too short not to find a way to lighten up and enjoy it. Fun is a key element and it is important to bring that into the workplace.

In summary, here are five steps to being your own superhero:

  1. Uncover your superpower
  2. Answer the call
  3. Avoid your kryptonite
  4. Be committed to a cause
  5. Know how and when to recharge

How about you? What is your superpower? Maybe your superpower is not earth-shattering or something that will save the world OR perhaps it could be if joined together with other every-day superheroes…


Carly Vivian
Carly Vivian
CARLY is an expert in leadership development and organizational transformation. She specializes in helping executives, leaders, and entrepreneurs uncover their true passions and design them into companies and careers that fulfill their professional aspirations and achieve the life they envision. As founder and CEO of Carly Vivian LLC, Carly works with leaders to guide them and their teams through significant shifts, transformations, and reinventions with heart, connection, and commitment. With 20+ years of consulting experience and deep expertise in executive coaching, strategy, and leadership development, she has a proven track record for delivering solutions that drive change, accelerate new thinking, and result in transformation and reinvention. Carly can be reached at [email protected].

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