You already have superpowers! Seriously. Not everyone can do what you can do. Even if it comes naturally to you. And if you’ve had to work hard to gain your skills and abilities, that’s awesome, too!
Superpowers can be anything from riding a bike, to wielding the Lasso of Truth, to managing projects, to . . . you name it. And since we all can do different things well, it’s important to identify your unique combination of superpowers. Of course, some of these will be more useful in a work environment, and some less so, but it’s great to claim them so you can decide which ones to highlight in your personal brand.Identifying your superpowers is the first step in creating your personal brand. Click To Tweet
Claiming Your Superpowers
Whatever your superpowers are, own them and celebrate them. Think about a time when you rocked a presentation/analysis/design/audit/whatever it is that you do. How did you uniquely do it? What about YOU made it special and successful?
Creating a list of 3 to 5 superpowers can help you get in touch with what you do well and which skills and abilities you want to be known for. You can use them to help set your personal brand, and they show up well in resumes and bios. They’re also a cornerstone of True Leadership.
When you make your list of superpowers, they should have an action component — these are things you DO (things that you ARE show up in your Principles).
For instance, if you’re good at projects, put a strong verb with it: “managing projects” or “directing projects” could be a good superpower for you. Maybe you’d like it to be more specific: “managing cross-functional projects” or “directing multi-phase construction projects.” Whatever they are, be sure they’re clear and to the point.
What if You Hate Your Superpower?
Stuff we’re great at isn’t always what we want to continue doing or necessarily what we want to be known for. What should you do in that case? A mix of reality (what do you have proven experience with?) and forward thinking (which parts of your experience can help in the future?) is the key.
If you’re fantastic at arranging meetings, but you’re not inspired by that work (and don’t want to be known for it), think about that superpower’s component parts. Arranging meetings requires great organizing and maybe some negotiating skills. Those are great to highlight, and may be more consistent with the kind of reputation you want to have and the work you want to do in your organization.
Remember, they’re your superpowers, and you get to define them however you want! Be sure your abilities match up with what you’re claiming, though — you want to be able to follow through on the promise your personal brand makes.
Revealing Your Superpowers
To be authentic, you need to be yourself. All the time. But you do have choices in how the real you shows up. What do you want people to notice about you? What do you want them to notice first?
I’m not talking about hiding or denying who you are, or deliberately making yourself appear less than you are. Especially if you’re a woman or person of color or someone otherwise marginalized in our society. Heaven knows we’ve had enough of that conditioning. This isn’t about conforming to what other people think you should be. It’s more about a conscious and deliberate placement and positioning of who you are to serve you better.
Many people I know spend a lot of time and energy putting their biggest superpower out first. That may not always be the best idea. If you have a big, big brain, or if you’re a super-driver, or if your selling skills are the tops, don’t you think people will notice, anyway? And if you are truly great at thinking, driving, or selling, it might be a bit intimidating, or even off-putting to certain audiences or in some situations.
I mean, think about it. Do you really need LeBron James in your face about his basketball game? When he brings his comedic acting chops or his business sense or his identity as a father first, it’s really appealing and relatable . . . and it doesn’t take anything away from his mad skills on the court. It just proves he’s multi-dimensional. And funny as hell!
On the other hand, if you’re on the basketball court, LeBron will bring his basketball superpowers, and they will — and should — be front and center.
What are your superpowers? And how do you show them? Let us know in the comments below!