July 10, 2020|
7 min read
Everyone is a genius. What’s Your Superpower?
I am a big believer that every single human is a genius in some specific way. A gift that defines them and enables them to bring incredible value professionally if their superpower was revealed, understood, and allowed to blossom.
“But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Albert Einstein.
This quote has been used by many well-known people, referring to the education system. I want to use it related to the business world. There is so much pressure when you enter the workforce to excel in your role and quickly. Your resume is intended to be a testament to your growth mindset, resilience and skills that create results.
How many people get put into roles either to learn a foundation or the beginning career path elevates them to greatness at one level and failure at the next. Few companies move people around inside their organizations, without title, compensation, or progression penalties. It is rare for organizations to have transparency to income and celebrate moving people around to tap into potential personal greatness. Only one comes to mind, Mars. Many people join Mars in one career and grow cross functionally as their offices, and pay structure support and even celebrate movement.
For other organizations, you may need to start and train for short periods of time in a few roles at a junior level to eventually begin your career in the path you had chosen. While the approach feels “sound”, the result can stymie personal development, exploit areas of a person that are not strengths. Potentially worse, there is a Research Study I read in an organization I worked for in the US, that revealed the impact of starting in sales or finance for a few years, seemed to hinder the long-term viability of success in marketing.
So, what is someone to do? I think the most important thing to remember for all of us is that “we are the hero in our own story”! We may be able to list some strengths but not consciously be certain of the genius within the strengths. And as stated above, we can be put into roles that either stymie our gifts or we might not be able to show our genius.
There are many techniques, and research studies designed to help discover. However, if you have read enough articles now, you know I am the believer of open-ended discovery vs. framed questions that fit you into boxes.
Each of us deserves to take the time to understand our own “superpower”. It is liberating to understand what gifts we must leverage, if not professionally, certainly through Passion Projects.
Some Gifts or Traits Get All the Attention
One of the reasons for this is that some workplace “superpowers” tend to hog the spotlight. The employee who delivers to impossible deadlines at any personal cost. Mavericks are often valued for their out-of-the-box thinking and daring ideas. Those of us who can make bold decisions or give inspiring presentations are often given plenty of attention.
What if you don’t have the obvious superpowers? I have interviewed many employees who had lost their personal purpose and energy to the degree that they stopped seeing the value they provided. It could be the role, culture, or manager. But I can say 100% of the 100’s I interviewed had unique gifts and were geniuses. They just needed to be consciously aware of what makes them unique. It is an incredibly empowering to be aware and own your genius!!
So, never let circumstance stop you from believing in yourself. You are too important, and you owe it to the world and business to share that value!
There are as many types of geniuses as there are humans. However, many gifts may not be as evident, but those employees can bring so much value if they are supported, celebrated, and allowed to gain confidence in leveraging their superpower.
Here are some examples of superpowers we don’t think about nearly as often:
These traits aren’t going to steal the show like your co-worker who’s giving the impassioned sales speech or the one who’s come up with the latest slogan, but they are still so important!
Curiosity is something a lot of us have, which is why it might get overlooked as a special superpower. You’re someone who goes beyond though—you’re looking underneath the underneath, so to speak.
You like research just for fun, and you’re always willing to ask another abstract question. Thinking outside the box can be fun! You love discovering other perspectives because it’s fascinating.
Empathy is another one of those superpowers that many people have, so it tends to get overlooked. It’s the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel.
Empathy can give us great insight into human relationships, whether it’s between coworkers or between us and our customers. It helps us deliver outstanding customer service and really tap into the needs of the people we work with. Empathy is the lynchpin of any successful business relationship!
Sometimes, we can get buried in little details or end up tumbling down a rabbit hole to a dead end. That’s often because the problem isn’t quite clear, or maybe the “big picture” is fuzzy.
You have a knack for pulling everything into focus. Problems—and their solutions—become much more visible. Your vision of the whole business, the entire situation gives others a sense of direction. By clarifying the situation, you help everyone move forward toward a vision.
Synthesizers are some of the most overlooked superheroes in our offices. That’s because what they do is often so subtle, it goes almost unnoticed. Synthesizers have a way of bringing pieces together—they can take research from marketing and pull out information on how this affects anything from accounting to operations.
Synthesizers aren’t coordinators, but they can work in a similar way: they get everyone on the same page, creating a cohesive strategy and plan with information from different quarters.
If you’re not sure of your superpower, there are a few ways you can figure it out. Spend an hour with a Strategist who can help you discover your own personal genius (essence). Examine your own work, what you do in the office, and the role you play on teams. Ask your coworkers! What are you best at? What do they rely on you for? What do they think is your superpower?
You may discover a superpower that’s not on this list, a hidden talent even you didn’t know you had. Once you’ve discovered it, though, you’ll be in a much better position to play to your strengths.
Discovering our talents sometimes means going back to our work and asking that one key question: Why? Start with the why, and you’ll know exactly how to play to your own superpowers!
Meet Margo…brand visioning & marketing
Margo Jay is a Master Brand Strategist with a career leading globally recognized brands; developing and launching a proven model that maximizes competitive sales potential and consumer appeal. She has built the model to help companies of all sizes. Her Client roster includes entrepreneurs through to Fortune 100 brands: NHL teams, Global QSR brands, CPG brands, Broadcast brands, Agencies, Non Profit brands, Hard goods…this model and process provides competitive advantage in any category.
Complete clarity. Ownable distinct selling proposition. Shared values. Brand Clarity. Brand Focus. Brand Inspiration. Brand Obsession. Unlocking brand potential is what she does.
And it all starts with why!
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