If you were a superhero, what would be your amazing superpower? Would you be able to fly or become invisible? Could you breathe underwater or read people’s minds?
Although it is probably quite handy to be a superhero, you don’t need to be one to have a superpower.
Of course, you do. Everyone has a superpower, but not everyone knows what it is.
Maybe your superpower is something very useful like being able to handle conflict within your office. Maybe you’re an incredible scheduler or an out-of-this-world crises averter. Maybe it isn’t as obvious, and you’re able to make Excel do mind-blowing functions, or manage to get everyone at the right place at the right time.
Your superpower makes you a leader in your company. You stand out from the others because there is something that you are really good at, and in all likelihood, your employer needs those skills.
Others look up to you to provide guidance, support, and encouragement. Perhaps there is even a younger employee or two who thinks “I want to be like her in a few years.”
Does that sound familiar? Probably not. Clarke Kent did not realize he was as good-looking as Christopher Reeve and acted a little goofy around Lois Lane because he didn’t realize.
Your superpower (acknowledged or not) is a leadership quality that you need to maximize. Others are watching you to ensure you are putting your superpower to good rather than evil use. Others are looking to you for guidance. Others are taking your lead.
Let me challenge some of the steps you’ve taken, and ensure that you are putting your superpower to good use.
According to a study by SnackNation, 51% of you are taking 10 or fewer vacation days per year. What is the message this is sending others? That you are too important to take vacation, that you don’t value work-life balance?
Show everyone else that you have a balanced life. Work reasonable hours, be committed, but make sure you are committed to your health, your family, and yourself as well, and start using your vacation allotment. By showing you value those things, you will hold the superpower of balance.
52% of respondents in this survey said their bosses expected them to be on call outside of regular business hours. For most businesses (not all), this is an unreasonable expectation. Don’t expect this of your team if it isn’t necessary. If it is expected, it should be compensated and part of the job official job description. Just because you do, it doesn’t mean that they should have to be on call as well. Be fair about the expectations of the people who work with you and for you. By showing that you know that most people really don’t want to be on call after hours you hold the superpower of fairness, especially if they don’t need to be on call and are not compensated for it.
48% of us only receive feedback once a year or not at all. Make a point to give feedback to everyone on your team (regardless of whether you are their supervisor or not). Say “Thank you” and point out what the person did that was particularly well done, or different. By making people feel special, you will hold the superpower of gratitude for others.
While 72% of Office Managers in the SnackNation’s survey agree that they are either “invested” or “very invested” in their career growth, that does imply that a whopping 28% are not. Be invested in your career and teach others how to be invested in their career as well. By investing in your own career, you will hold the superpower of IAAP recruiter (or professional responsibility).
And my superpower? I make whine disappear. And for those of you who know me well, you know that I also make wine disappear (both red and white!).
I am positive. I speak and think positively, I don’t focus on the negativity, and when someone comes to whine to me, they’ve come to the wrong person. When I’m having a bad day or dealing with a difficult challenge, I focus on the good of that most of the time. I’m not perfect, but I’m still Super!
So, what is your superpower?