Leaders face constant challenges and competition, but it’s in those times, you should rely upon your own individual strengths. Once you identify what those are, you can elevate them from mere strengths to true superpowers. When you are operating with your strengths as superpowers, you will be able to unleash your full potential. 

Whether you are aiming for professional success, personal growth, or something simply seeking fulfillment in your life, harnessing your strengths effectively can set you apart from the rest of the pack and propel you to reach your goals. I use this 10-step framework with my executive coaching clients, and it has yielded robust results. 

10 Ways to Elevate your Strengths into Superpowers

1. Self-reflection

This is the first step in your journey from average leader to superpower manager. You must first reflect on your past experiences and achievements to identify your strengths. Think about the moments you felt the most confident and capable in your career. Consider feedback from others and start to recognize patterns of excellence in your skills and abilities. 

If you are having trouble pinpointing your strengths, there are online tools like CliftonStrengths assessment (formerly StrengthsFinder) which measures the intensity of your talents in 34 different themes. It defines the ways you most naturally think, feel, and behave. Think of it as your talent DNA!

This is a paid test, so if you do not want to make that investment, consider your prior performance reviews that outline your strengths. Perhaps you hear people tell you that you are good at a certain skill, or you are always the person people in the office turn to when they need help with a particular task done. Those are your strengths! 

2. Embrace your Uniqueness

It is important to understand that you have a unique set of strengths, and this is what sets you apart from others and makes you the individual that you are. Your uniqueness makes you distinct and valuable, so instead of shying away from a unique strength, you should embrace it. 

For example, I hear coaching clients say all the time they want common leadership strengths such as communication or conflict management, but they often do not realize that within their strengths there may be something even more unique. The power of empathy may be one. Instead of considering empathy as a weakness, embrace it and use it to its fullest capacity. It will make you stand out as a leader! 

3. Cultivate Confidence

A leader must have confidence. They must believe in themselves and their abilities, and the easiest way to cultivate confidence is to remind yourself of past successes, where you have used your strengths successfully. 

Then, visualize yourself overcoming a challenge and achieving your goal. Visualization is a powerful tool because you can see yourself doing something that you are a little bit unsure of. But then you see the result is successful, and that helps you have the confidence to see it through. It is also a manifestation – you are manifesting that you will be successful in this situation. 

4. Continuous Learning 

Just because you have a strength does not mean you can stop investing time and effort in honing and developing that strength further. Good leaders are always seeking out opportunities for continuous growth and development whether that is formal education, workshops, or hands-on experience. This continuous learning will amplify your strengths and keep you ahead of the curve.

5. Set Clear Goals

We all know what SMART goals are (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), and we use them regularly at work, but leaders looking to soar their superpowers to the next level will need to also set them for themselves. By defining your objectives and aligning them with your strengths, setting goals can provide clarity. This clarity on what you want to achieve helps to guide your efforts and helps to maximize the impact of your strengths. This is laser focused thinking rather than just scattered thoughts. 

So, why do we dislike setting goals for ourselves so much? I have had clients tell me “This is my natural strength; it just happens, so I do not need to set a goal for it. I plug into it when I need it.” While that may be true, setting the goal helps you recognize where you need to guide your efforts and when you have achieved or maximized that strength. It is being proactive instead of being reactive! 

6. Collaborate and Network 

No leader has every strength that they need to succeed solely on their own. That is why it is important to surround yourself with people who complement your strengths. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can bring people in who complement you. Leaders should collaborate with others who have different skillsets and different perspectives to create a diverse, dynamic work environment. 

Networking also provides you with an opportunity to highlight your strengths and forge important connections. And while we may think of happy hour events and being active on LinkedIn as networking duties, you can start with the people right within your own organization. Consider the consulting industry, where consultants get projects based on their networking capabilities. It is all about who you know, how you present yourself, and how you highlight your strengths. That is how consultants are being assigned projects and building their business. 

7. Embrace Challenges 

This is important because challenges are just opportunities in disguise! When you are challenged, you are forced to embrace discomfort which is hard, because humans tend to shy away from discomfort. But by viewing a challenge as a chance to leverage your strengths, you can push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It is also a terrific way to demonstrate your resilience. 

8. Practice resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and adversity, but cultivating resiliency is also maintaining a positive outlook, adapting to change and learning from your failures. If you use setbacks as learning experiences to refine your strengths, you will emerge stronger than before. 

But just because you have a particular strength, do not think everything will go your way. There will be failures but the ability to recover and learn from them can be taught through your power of resilience. 

9. Share your strengths

Do not keep your strengths all to yourself. Share your knowledge, skills, and expertise with others. You can do that through mentoring, teaching, and leading by example. When you empower others with your strengths, you can amplify your strengths’ impact and create a ripple effect of success in your organization. 

10. Stay authentic

This is the cornerstone of harnessing your strengths and superpowers. When you stay true to yourself and your values as you navigate your leadership journey, you embrace vulnerability and imperfection knowing that authenticity breeds trust and connection. 

Putting this Protocol in Place

I recently collaborated with a client who is COO of a tech company but is being groomed to be the CEO once the founder of the company retires. Dennis (not his real name) had been pigeonholed into one way of leading because that’s what the founder had taught him. That served Dennis well on his rise to the COO position, but his leadership team was not aware of his full potential. 

We worked on self-reflection to identify his strengths and cultivate his confidence. When we talked about his past successes and how he could use those in his current role and even his future role, it helped him embrace those strengths and start to turn them into superpowers. 

Dennis excelled at setting clear goals, and he did some new learning of skills he needed to continue to grow and develop. He considered connecting with people as one of his true strengths, but he was so busy he was often holed up in his office and did not have time to connect with his colleagues. So, I gave him a simple exercise for the workplace:

  • Week 1: Walk around the office once or twice a day.
  • Week 2: Walk around the office and say hello to people once or twice a day. 
  • Week 3: Walk around the office and ask people how their weekend was once or twice a day.

We took this process slowly because we knew that if, suddenly, Dennis started asking personal questions of his colleagues unexpectedly, they may think something was wrong since this would be unfamiliar behavior for him. After about a month, he built into recognition his power of connecting with people. His co-workers and employees started asking him questions about his personal life and opened more about workplace ideas, issues, and collaboration opportunities.

Dennis was astounded that this simple exercise allowed him to turn his strength of connecting with people into a superpower. That was evident when his executive team started to view him less as a follower of the CEO and more as his own unique individual and started to trust him more. Through some amazingly simple steps, his superpowers developed naturally, and he is indeed still on track to assume that CEO role soon. 

Leaders must learn to rely on their strengths and nurture them to the point of becoming superpowers to unlock their full potential. This practical guide for elevating your strengths and a real-life example illustrates the journey of self-discovery and empowerment is not only achievable but also transformative, enabling individuals to lead with purpose and impact. 

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