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May 31, 2016

Leadership Superpowers

Effective leaders are heroic. Why? They put the interests of others ahead of their own. They are admired for their integrity and resolve. They empower and motivate their team to manifest a positive vision for the future. They create transformational change in people and situations. This type of leadership is the work of heroes.

To do this, leaders leverage special powers. These abilities aren’t always easy to put into practice, but they are always impactful. They can be learned over time, and are honed through experience. Like most things powerful and influential, they can be used to achieve both good and bad aims.

Here are 6 superpowers utilized by effective leaders:

Magnetism: Leaders are magnetic. They naturally draw others towards them, creating loyal followers. Leaders derive this type of influence from various sources. True leaders don’t rely on coercion in order to bring about action and change, they lean on their ability to attract others through relationships, trust, charisma, credibility and likability, or some mix thereof.

Seeing the Invisible: Leaders create an inspiring vision. Although the future is ultimately unknowable and invisible, leaders paint a compelling picture of a future state that inspires excitement and motivation. They, like all of us, could choose to see the invisible things that hold us back, such as fears and doubts. Instead, effective leaders put attention and energy towards hopeful and empowering visions.  For even greater buy-in and ownership from their team, they engage colleagues in co-creating their desired future state.

Flight: Leaders act from a place of freedom and possibility, willing to take risks. Although they’re self-aware enough to understand and consider potential consequences of their actions, they aren’t weighed down by fears. They are prepared to step outside of their comfort zones and “fly” without secure footing or guaranteed safety nets.

Supernatural Hearing: Leaders listen at deeper levels. How do they do this? By using intuition and empathy to pick up on what’s below the surface. Leaders who utilize these skills can hear what is sometimes unsaid, and they can sense the energy of group dynamics. They use these extra inputs when relating to their teams, reading situations, or making key decisions.

Superstrength to Lift Objects: Even when heavy obstacles sometimes stand in the way, leaders are able to lift and empower their team towards higher performance. They know the strengths and limitations of their followers, and support them in ways that helps each one grow and shine.   Leaders act from a place of service, looking for opportunities to advance the development of their team. They also share and celebrate team success, rather than claim it for their own, which bolsters everyone’s sense of ownership and accomplishment.

Elasticity: Leaders are adaptable. They are able to quickly stretch or adjust to changing situations, and can easily incorporate new knowledge or tools as they go. Effective leaders do this with a calm nature about them, instilling confidence in others that might be more affected by the stresses of change.

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