Who is your favorite superhero?
As a kid, I really liked Superman. I mean, who didn’t? He was super strong and could fly. And Christopher Reeve played the role perfectly. I wear glasses, so pretending to be Clark Kent is easy. And there was Batman. I used to go to the local video rental store and check out old Batman shows. Then the movie came out. Batman was a normal guy, who was amazingly smart, wealthy, and strong. Admittedly, I was temporarily distracted by Mario in my youth.
Since then, I’ve grown a bit more fond of Captain America. It’s the patriotism in me. Most recently, my favorites include Supergirl, Percy Jackson, and Spiderman, as you can see from my shameless proud father picture posted below.
Superheroes are fun. Most have one or two defining traits. None is perfect. They all have strengths. They all have weaknesses. They all save the day somehow.
You don’t have to be good at everything, but you do need to find things you are good or want to be good at, develop those strengths, and use them toward success.
What is your superpower?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on specific entrepreneurial superpowers. These are specific strengths and abilities that I have observed in entrepreneurs and leaders. We’ll take some deep dives into superpowers such as as creativity, presentation skills, formulating questions, productivity, and business skills.
These are all things I’m learning about myself. I’ll share insights on what I have learned, why they are important, and how we can develop those superpowers that we need to be more successful in our paths. These skills apply directly to entrepreneurship, but they can also be important for other aspects of our personal development.
A popular question at job interviews right now is, “What is your superpower?” It’s really just a different way of asking, “What are your strengths?” or “What makes you unique for this position?” I’ve asked that question several times over the past year when interviewing people. I wish I could say that the answers I get in response were as inspiring as Spiderman, Batman, and Superman.
They weren’t. Instead, the typical answer I hear is, “I’m a hard worker who has the right experiences and skills for this position.” Or something equally mundane.
The better answer to that question is something like, “I’m exceptionally creative. Everyday I bring new ideas to the table. I use that creativity to solve hard problems and develop one-of-a-kind solutions. For example, once I was in a situation where…[insert example].”
Or perhaps your answer would be, “You know how Captain America was an Avenger? He was both a soldier who recognized an opportunity and need to become the leader of the Avengers. I’m like that. I get amazing things done, but have also learned to step up and lead. I believe that is important in this role because…”
For you, it may not be creativity or leading a team. It might be communication or business acumen or marketing or teaching or networking.
You have a superpower
You have a superpower. In fact, I’m confident that you have several superpowers. We usually have some natural strengths, but we can also choose to develop other strengths. In fact, most of our strengths are things we’ve chosen to develop. This is powerful because if you feel like you aren’t creative, you can work to become more creative. The same is true with leadership, public speaking, writing, charisma, sales, or any other skill.
To quote Superman,
You are much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.”
When we develop and use our unique combination of strengths, we have our own superpowers. We are able to do things that other people can’t. We find success where other people have struggled.
Since many kids love superheroes, I’ll share with you a simple approach to strengthening your superpowers using a process we learned as children: reading, writing, and arithmetic.
3 Keys to strengthening your superpowers
- Reading: Reading is one of the most effective tools of personal development. By setting aside 20 minutes every morning to read, most people will read 10-15 books a year. Imagine what you can learn!
- Writing: Writing brings clarity to your thoughts. You don’t know what you know until you articulate it. Even writing for 5 minutes can be helpful. If you can write more, that’s better. I personally really like to use the 5-Minute Journal. It’s the right combination of gratitude, affirmation, and reflection.
- Arithmetic: Add to your skills. Multiply them over time. Choose what you want to work on. You can strengthen your skills. Pick new skills that you want to develop. Getting just a little better everyday can make a huge difference.
I’m very excited to share with you some of the material I’ve been working on. It’s going to be fun.
In the meantime, I’ve put together a quick resource guide for you on finding and strengthening your superpowers. These are some great resources that I’ve found to be useful for me personally.