TSLH #006: Finding the Superhero in You

TSLH #006: Finding the Superhero in You

Read time: 4 minutes


Everybody has a superpower.

One challenge many leaders have is they don’t use their superpower to lead their teams to greatness and high performance.

Mind you, the main reason this happens is these leaders don’t know what their superpower is!

Don’t be one of those leaders.

Today, I’ll show you 2 quick and easy ways of uncovering your superpower. This will be through understanding your strengths and identifying your allies.

Strengths. An easy definition of a strength is an activity or action or task that you can perform well and that in most cases will also energize you.

If you have done assessments like the Gallup StrengthFinder in the past, you are probably already aware of some of your strengths and how you can leverage them to build and lead your team.

If not, unless you have done very serious work on yourself, chances are that you only have but a vague idea of what your strengths are.

Here is the easiest way to collect information to uncover your strengths:

Ask people in your organization!

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Pick a few peers, your direct reports, your manager, other indirect bosses you may have, other stakeholders, and ask them these questions:

  1. “What is one strength that I demonstrate and that contributes to keeping the team engaged and being successful?”
  2. “What is a thing that I should start doing more of or less of to make a bigger impact as a leader?”
  3. “What is one thing that I should stop doing immediately because it could be detrimental to my success and impact as a leader?”

Collecting this feedback is an essential step in identifying your strengths, i.e., the actions that people see you doing and that directly contribute to the team success and people’s engagement and collaboration. Note that this feedback will also alert you on things you should either improve or stop doing.

I also recommend you answer these questions yourself first. This will allow you identifying any gap in perception. For instance, you may think that you have strength A while the people you ask don’t mention it or instead say it’s something you should stop doing.

Once you have collected this feedback, it’s time to come up with some analysis and results. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. “What are strengths that I possess and that are identified as such unequivocally by the people I asked?”
  2. “What are areas of improvement that if acted upon would become strengths that I could use to be a better and more authentic leader?”
  3. “What strength do I have that if overused could become a blind spot and possibly a weakness?”

Your turn to do this exercise and uncover your key strengths, the ones that are recognized as such by others. Pay great attention too to not overuse a strength, as it can quickly become a blind spot, i.e., something you do that will create negative feelings with others, thereby impacting your leadership and the team productivity.

For instance, a few years ago, as I started my coaching education, I was so eager to use coaching with my team that I fully switched to that type of leadership. Some people on my team loved it and some hated it. When I asked the questions above, I was surprised (even shocked) to see that someone gave me the feedback that “Although it’s really good that you let the team make decisions of their own by questioning us, there are times when a team does want its leader to provide a bit more direction versus always having to create it on it’s own.”

This particular feedback helped me see that coaching the team, although a strength, was becoming a blind spot. I used that feedback to be more flexible with the style of leadership I was using.

Allies. Similar to strengths in a way, allies are role models you use to summon particular strengths that you use in specific situations. Think of an ally as a role model (a leader you know or you’ve read about, a person in your family or friends circle, someone who influenced you, a celebrity, etc.) and what additional resources that model equip you with.

So, pick a role model, someone you admire. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. “What is inspiring about that person?”
  2. “What is their advice to me?”
  3. “What value or strength does this person have that I could summon when needed in my role as a leader?”

You can also name these allies so you remember them when you most need them.

Here’s an example of one of my allies. I call it The Clown and I relate it a now defunct French comedian named Coluche. This ally is the one who brings the fun out of me. He helps me find the fun out of situations, even the ones that seem complex or challenging.

I summon this ally in my role as a leader when faced with a tough situation. Maybe I want to show people there are other perspectives to consider and I will tell a joke. This can help defuse a situation and have people think about other ways the situation is not that bad and can create opportunities instead.

This is what allies do for you.

Take time now to identify your allies, learn to know them and what they can do for you.


Remember, knowing your strengths and allies will bring you one step closer to self-awareness. This will give you an edge on other leaders and will support you as you grow as an authentic leader.

Let me know how the exercise went for you and share your strengths and allies with me. Again, there is no right or wrong answer!

Have fun with this and let me know about your progress.

TL; DR (Too Long, Did not Read)

Self-awareness is reinforced when a leader knows their strengths and allies.

  1. Strengths can be uncovered by asking people you work with
  2. That feedback session also highlights possible blind spots
  3. Allies are role models that give you additional resources
  4. You can summon your allies whenever you need them

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1️⃣ Work 1-1 with me to step up as the authentic leader you aspire to be.

2️⃣ Hire me to help you build a high-performing team.

3️⃣ Start with my affordable digital courses on Mastering Difficult Conversations for Leaders and Goal Setting