Other posts in the series:
- What's Obvious to You? by Ann Handley
- With Great Challenge Comes Great Adaptability, by Michelle (Chel) Wolverton
- 4 Steps To Awaken Your Superhero Power, by DJ Waldow
- The power of realization or Superheros are where you find them, by Helena Bouchez
- Making the Jump, by Tamsen Webster
- We All Have It In Us, by C.C. Chapman
- Teaching the Pebbles, by Bryce Moore
- Stop Being the Green Lantern of Business, by Justin Kownacki
- Taking The Vow of Super Heroism, by Whitney Hoffman
- Crisis and Motivation, by John Wall
In Chris’s flagship post about how we’ve all become modern superheroes at business, he points out how common some “super powers” (infinite knowledge, instant communication) have become. In a way, that means the barrier to entry for becoming a workplace superhero is getting dangerously low — and that opens the door for lame superheroes.
And you probably are one… but you don’t have to be.
Why I Would Kill for a Weakness to Kryptonite
Quick: what’s Aquaman’s weakness?
He needs to be in contact with water at least once a day.
But wait… don’t we all? That’s not a very “super” weakness, is it?
Sure, he can talk to fish, but he has to do it from the water cooler.
And that makes him about as “super” as your district manager.
But it could be worse.
Quick: what’s Green Lantern’s weakness?
That’s right: yellow. Green Lantern’s ring is powerless against a color *that also happens to be a component OF green.* (Go figure THAT one out…)
Meanwhile, what’s Superman’s weakness?
That’s right: aside from magic (which doesn’t really exist) and lead (which has felled better men than Clark Kent over the past century), Superman’s main weakness is being exposed to radioactive asteroid chunks of his exploded home planet.
And how many of THOSE do you think people find on the side of the road? Not many.
Which is why Superman is Superman, and why Aquaman is the guy the Justice League usually asks to wait by the phone while they handle the REAL emergencies.
What the Hell Does This Have to Do With YOUR Job?
If we’re all superheroes, then we need GOOD super-weaknesses. We can’t be flummoxed by dehydration and primary colors. And yet, most gurus I know fail completely when it comes to simple skills like:
* time management
* financial planning
* customer service
If the power of the Internet gives each of us an honorary membership in the Justice League of Business, we owe it to the people we’re supposed to be helping (e.g., your clients or, if you’re a nonprofit, the whole of humanity) to not be rendered useless by basic tasks. We should be improving our basic skills AND our “super” powers at all times, so the services we provide truly ARE unparalleled. And we need to identify the bad habits and external pressures that are capable of derailing our workflow (and our careers) so we can work around them, learn to disable them, and eventually overcome them.
So… what’s YOUR Kryptonite?
(Are you sure it’s not just yellow?)
HINT: If there’s a flaw in your work approach that you just can’t fix, team up with someone who’s really good at the things you do horribly. As the Wonder Twins taught us all, there’s strength in numbers — especially when one of you can transform into a dinosaur. So work on that.
Justin Kownacki is a writer, videographer, brand strategist and media consultant. Since 2003, he’s created and produced the web sitcoms Something to Be Desired and The Baristas. He also tweets far, far too much. You can find Justin on the web here: