Business Transformation

The key to finding your leadership superpower

What’s your superpower? What is your unique leadership ID – that ‘thing’ that has been with you throughout your whole life and that shows up again and again to help give you that edge?

As a child, I had a recurring dream that I could fly. We lived in a two- storey brick house and I would always fly out my bedroom door, down the stairwell and into the lounge room.

I would always share my dream with Mum over the breakfast bench, convinced that it was true. One day, my mum said: ‘This must be your superpower!’ Mum always humoured and nurtured my every dream – perhaps that was her superpower?

What I realised later in life was that I indeed did have the power to fly. I could create my own wings and fly as high as I want to go in life. Obviously, I don’t mean literally – but figuratively, I had a real gift for seeing and leveraging opportunities, for giving things my best and feeling in my bones that the sky was the limit in terms of the life I could create.

I also realised that this superpower extended to others, because I often saw the potential in others, and loved nothing more than the chance to inspire those around me, watch them shine and achieve their goals, too.

When we think about superpowers, we tend to think of the famous superheroes who save the world in movies and comic books with their strength and powers: Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel or Storm, the Invisible Woman. We have all joked around and asked each other, ‘What would your superpower be if you had one’?

Well the great news is… you already have your own superpower!

In every superheroine story, there is a problem to solve and a superheroine with just the right skills to do the job.

Heroines all have one thing in common: passion. That’s what makes them ‘super’. This passion drives them to make a positive impact on the world around them. Every heroine also has unique strengths that they turn to in order to fight the battle and save the day.

In solving a problem, making a positive impact or fighting your battle, you need to know what your unique strengths are. They are the positive parts of your personality that increase your ability to face multiple problems and challenges every day.

Now, while the superheroines we’ve all grown up with are able to become invisible, teleport, breathe underwater and fly, these are just their exterior superpowers. When you look more closely, their powers actually go much deeper than what we might first see.

Let’s look at Wonder Woman. A tower of strength, she uses her iconic bulletproof bracelets to deflect bullets, her golden lasso of truth for good, and her ability to fly to rescue others.

These are the superpowers we see – but her real superpowers are lurking a little under the surface. It’s all well and good to be able to teleport, for instance, but if you use that superpower to avoid challenges and get out of sticky situations, then you’re not doing much to help yourself or save the world, are you?

That’s why I see Wonder Woman as having a raft of different superpowers, which are actually so much more powerful than those on the surface. She is strong, brave, fast and smart. She is a champion of love, peace and truth, and she has a courageous sense of justice. All of these superpowers are used to make a positive impact on the world.

What is your superpower? To find out, follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Write down your passion.
    Think about the things you do, the interactions you have and the moments in your day or your week where you truly feel alive, aligned and on purpose. This is likely to be your passion.
  2. List your top three strengths.
    Your strengths are part of what makes up your superpower. Once you know your strengths, you can use them to live your best life and bring value to the world.
  3. Add what you are most knowledgeable about or love doing.
    This doesn’t have to be related to your job. It could be problem solving; being empathetic to others; your love of learning; nurturing others; your ability to think strategically; or a range of other things.
  4. Combine your answers from questions 1, 2 and 3 into a short sentence to find your superpower!
    Using words from your answers above, start writing a short sentence to unlock your superpower. Keep rewriting your sentence until it feels right – as if it captures the essence of what you are most passionate about.  For example:

My superpower is to empower and inspire women to believe in themselves and lead with confidence in business and in life. 

Then, next time someone asks you what you do, don’t reel off the multiple hats that you wear (marketing assistant, sports coach, teacher, mother, wife, boss). Instead, share your superpower. Just like the superheroines we spoke about earlier, you too can have a positive impact and change the world with your superpower. It’s time to find your superpower and share it with the world!

Commentary by Colleen Callander. Here’s what you’ve missed?
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Colleen Callander
Colleen Callander, author of Leader By Design (Major Street Publishing $29.95) and former CEO, is a renowned business and leadership coach, keynote speaker, board member and ambassador. She is also the founder of Mentor Me, a platform through which Colleen mentors women from all different walks of life.

Colleen Callander is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or connect with Colleen here.