It’s almost summer…time for backyard barbecues, beach walks, and summer blockbusters.
For a little pre-summer fun, let’s take a look at your leadership superpowers through the lens of those actual (okay, fictional) superheroes. Ask yourself which of these heroes have powers most similar to your leadership strengths and how you use them to make the workplace safe for mere mortals.
I’m no comic expert, but I’ll wager that Superman is the best-known and most beloved of all the superheroes. With his super strength, constant desire to do the right thing, and modest alter-ego, he sets the gold standard for superheroes. Yet, despite his Man of Steel strength, he shows his vulnerability in love and, of course, to Kryptonite. Like many powerful leaders, he balances strength with vulnerability.
My personal fave, she has superhero powers that go back to her birth among the Greek gods. The Justice League’s Wonder Woman has a breadth of training in strategy and combat, as well as an arsenal of tools, including the Lasso of Truth and her pair of indestructible wristlets. A feminist icon dedicated to fighting injustice, she’s a role model for women’s leadership.
Arguably more flawed than most superheroes, Iron Man is nonetheless one of the most creative thinkers of them all. Wealthy mogul, engineer and playboy, Tony Stark relies on a powered suit of armor to keep him alive post-chest trauma. An inveterate risk-taker, Iron Man’s technological genius is his leadership strength.
One of the X-Man, Wolverine is a mutant hero who can function as a solo operator or part of a team. His ability to heal his wounds, come back from defeat, and maintain his longevity make him a formidable foe. Wolverine’s regenerative abilities make him a resilient leader, able to take the blows and bounce right back.
A member of the Fantastic Four, Invisible Woman uses light waves to make herself and others invisible. She can project fields of psionic energy as either an offensive or defensive force, making her very powerful without having super-strength. A wife, mother, sister and working scientist, Invisible Woman aka Sue Storm is a great example of work-life balance in action.
Actually a few different superpowers rolled into one, The Flash is known for his extreme speed in running, moving and thinking. He uses his super-human speed, borne from a radioactive lightning ball that killed his mother, to combat criminals. By day, The Flash is a criminal investigator driven to avenge his mother’s death and clear his father’s name. His leadership power is velocity, critical to success in today’s swiftly changing world.
Defeat after defeat, Spider-Man keeps coming back for more. Although his wall-climbing abilities are truly remarkable, Spidey remains as humble as his down-to-earth counterpart Peter Parker. A friendly and funny guy, Spider-Man has no mentor and is completely self-taught in terms of his superpowers. He possesses one of the most important leadership skills of all: likeability.
This is an excerpt from my upcoming book: HOPE IS A STRATEGY. Stay tuned for more news coming soon!
What’s your superpower? Let me know at Libby@LibbyGill.com!