“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”
While that is often attributed to a Spiderman/Peter Parker wisdom, this adage has been around for many centuries.
As it relates to leadership, we’re going to look at power from the standpoint of influence, as opposed to anything else we might consider (which could be resources, position, leverage, ability etc.). Specifically, we’re going to look at what I would consider “superpowers” that translate into building massive influence ability, which translates into leadership capacity.
All of Us Have “Superpowers.”
Maybe we can’t leap a tall building in a single bound or stop a locomotive with our hand, but we can definitely do certain things as well as anybody else if we put our minds to it.
I call these things “strengths” as a general rule. However, having a strength does not automatically mean you have a superpower. It means you could have a superpower. You have to put in the time to develop it, nurture it, refine it, figure out all the ways to use it well, learn the boundaries of abusing it, make sure you are using it for something positive, and probably a few other things you could name.
The beautiful thing is that once you are aware of what your strengths are, and you go to work on them, you can use any single one of them as a superpower, and it will pave your way to make a massive impact in whatever you choose to pursue, in addition to your ability to lead.
I Started with One.
Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I don’t have much of an ego. Being an introvert with anxiety and low self-esteem my entire life, I have never in my life, that I can remember, considered myself to be better than anyone. In any way. In fact, my biggest challenge was the exact opposite. I have always stared at the uphill perspective of “I’m not good enough.” I’m not good enough to learn, win, earn, advance, be considered, be loved, speak up, and certainly not to lead. That’s the way it is when you are blessed with my wiring, my conditioning, and my natural way of internalizing. I’ve known now, for some decades, that most of those feelings/thoughts aren’t true, so I am able to push past them. I don’t share that, so you have sympathy. That is the last things I would ever want. And frankly, I’m GALD I have the things I mentioned. They have helped me in many ways. Anyway, I know you have your share/version of the same stuff. And this is the entire point of this article. ONE superpower builds a ladder to anything you want to climb and leads to the next, regardless of what areas of challenge you are managing (internal or external).
I learned as a young man, that something I could do well was listen. It was a natural tendency, given my nature. Then, as I began my career, and got into personal/professional development, I discovered that this was a powerful way to build bridges with people and truly connect. So, I started to study it and hone it and practice with more purpose. I started to look at the true, deeper impact it had on others.
It ended up being the cornerstone superpower that I built my entire life around. Including any leadership influence I may have. The proverb says, “Your gift will make room for you” (paraphrased), because it’s true. You don’t have to be excellent at everything. You don’t have to be perfect, flawless, or the best. No one is. You simply have to take the strengths that you are most compelled to work with and turn one or two of them into your superpowers.
Listening and Leadership
Listening is clearly a leadership superpower. It allows you to build strong relationships with people. Leadership is a relationship. It allows you to demonstrate to others that you truly care. True leadership is an act of love and service. It allows you show people that they have value and that they are worth listening to. Leaders help people believe in themselves. It positions you to have your voice WANT to be heard. Leaders are teachers. It allows you to learn the things you need to learn to help you make the wisest decisions. Leaders are learners.
Listening to another, and I mean truly listening, is one of the fastest ways to make an impact and build trust. Without trust, you cannot even lead a dog to a dish of food. Not being an effective listener will be a hole in your leadership boat that no amount of anything else can fill. If you do not listen well in leadership, your best people, the most talented, the most creative, the most empowered, inspired, and capable will absolutely not stay with you very long. You will be left with “yes” people. Leaders who only listen to what they want to hear, don’t generally last very long in today’s mind-bogglingly fast changing world.
It is super power number one to me, and I still study it and purposefully practice as often as I can. In the video, I share six leadership superpowers (there’s more) that anyone can work at cultivating. Some will be more natural than others, and therefore, some you can make into superpowers while others you can just become highly competent in. Remember, you don’t have to be a master at all things. And definitely NEVER pretend you are.
Anyway, check out the video. It will help you to have some clarity on the things that you can develop to multiply your influence. If this is helpful at all, please share with others.
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
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