Feeling Powerless at Work? Call on the Super Friends!
Discovering Your Power
As a child, I watched the cartoon Super Friends* and imagined I had superpowers. When I feel powerless at work, I want to call on the Super Friends to help me; or at least harness their superpowers for my own use. While thinking about this idea it dawned on me that superheroes are not just powerful because of their supernatural abilities but also because they possess top-notch human characteristics that, when combined with their supernatural powers, create exceptional human beings. These qualities can be found, in varying degrees, within each one of us and can be developed and applied to our interpersonal relationships at work in other areas of life. The trick is to discover ways to identify and cultivate these powerful qualities.
Here is a breakdown of a few of the superheroes and their human powers that we can learn to identify in ourselves:
Although Superman is known for his strength, his most powerful asset is being the leader of the Super Friends. This position gives him the power to make ruling decisions for the group.
Position Power: The role, title, or where you sit in an organization grants you the power to make decisions.
Where do you have formal authority? Recognize areas where you have the power to take command and lead. Learn to take advantage of your position of power.
* An Example of Superman’s leadership position can be seen in The Case of the Shrinking Super Friends.
Aquaman’s special power is his connection with the ocean and its animals. His knowledge of marine life and ability to communicate with this other world is a unique and valuable tool used to defeat villains.
Expert Power: Based on your expertise, knowledge or information about a subject, and the ability to communicate and demonstrate this expertise.
Like Aquaman, you have expert power when you’re the specialist. Take note of your areas of expertise and use these powers to add value to your position and stand out from the crowd.
*Aquaman uses his expert power in Aquaman - The Rampaging Reptile-Men.
Although Batman is human, he is equipped with superhero powers by way of the inventions he creates combined with his undeniable self-confidence and persistent conviction to fight crime.
Personal Power: Characteristics such as strength of personality, strength of conviction, personal integrity, work ethic, and identity as a role model are forms of personal power.
Personal Power is a commitment to an idea and the confidence to share your ideas. Be assertive in voicing your opinions based on your experience. Self-confidence and strength of conviction are convincing traits as well as powerful tools when trying to persuade and influence others.
*Batman displays his strength of conviction in The Killer Machines
Jayna and Zan’s superpowers allow them to transform into animals and forms of water. This power of transformation is very handy but even more effective because they are a great pair and work well together.
Relationship Power: Based on established relationships and our ability to get things done via networks.
You have power with your network of relationships. By cultivating these relationships, decisions are more likely to go your way. With the support of your networks you gain influence and power to make things happen.
*Jayna and Zan work together in Mxyzptlk’s Flick
*Superhero references are based on their abilities during the Saturday morning cartoon of the 70’s and 80’s and are not cross-referenced with any comic books source material.
Angella Bernal is an outstanding Professional Development trainer and an invaluable part of the Learn iT! team--a Wonder Woman of sorts. She creates the Professional Development Live Online Training classes for Learn iT!. Angella values learning and in her spare time is learning to homebrew.