Seven super abilities that are key to being a better leader.
I recently read an article by Mathew Chittock that explored how successful leaders use a range of management ‘super abilities’ to be great at what they do. The seven super abilities came under the categories of:
- Expert Power – Possessing specialised skills and knowledge that help make you the go-to person for particular tasks within an organisation and establish your status as an influencer.
- Network Power – Effective leaders who often have a huge professional network at their disposal, both inside and outside the organisation, which they can use to rapidly access a wealth of specialist skills and knowledge.
- Innovation Power- In an unpredictable economy, managers who can inspire their team to come up with fresh approaches to constantly changing situations are highly prized.
- Empathy Power – In the modern workplace, empathy is increasingly important. One of the traits of a great manager is understanding and relating to those around them.
- Persuasion Power- Being able to ‘sell’ an idea, a product or a new point of view both inside and outside your company is an essential skill for leaders.
- Communication Power – To help your team achieve their goals, managers must clearly explain what’s expected of them, and inspire them to succeed.
- Problem Solving Power – Top leaders give employees the skills and insight they need to solve everyday problems before they turn into something bigger.
I thought it would be interesting to see which super abilities our team members posess:
I am always looking for new opportunities to develop our approach and improve the quality of our services. The measure of this is that many of our clients stay with us year after year.
My dominant super power is persuasion. I’ve learnt over the years how important it is to sell myself and my story to bring others on board with my ideas. My strength is that I am able to create a vision for the programmes and projects that I oversee. I really enjoy sharing my vision and persuading others of the benefits – that includes clients and my team.
I also hold innovation power as I am always looking for how we can improve our service and our values.
My leadership super power is problem solving with a little bit of innovation mixed in. Once we have solved a problem at hand, I like to delve deeper to understand why that problem occurred by asking two key questions:
- Could we have prevented this problem in any way?
- How can we prevent this problem from happening in the future?
I like to learn from things before we move on, so it’s difficult for me to accept instances when things “just happen”! If we can improve our projects, protocols and ways of working for the better – why shouldn’t we?!
I struggled a bit to identify my ‘super ability’ but the team related me most to Expert Power. Coming from an academic background, I highly value expertise highly but the article made me realise I need to give myself more credit for what I’m naturally good at - not just for what I’ve worked hard for. I also need to grab more opportunities to demonstrate my expertise to our clients.
I have worked at The Juniper Company for ten years now, and as a result, I have developed a clearer view of my own super powers - Communication and Expert Power. I have a natural, matter-of-fact and logical approach to communicating, which avoids ‘work place’ jargon. I am able to sift through information to identify what is relevant and then communicate to others simply and clearly. I take great pride in providing someone else with clarity where they had confusion.
Having worked in the area of office administration for a long time, I am also able to provide my team members with ‘expert’ knowledge on various processes and guidelines. I am proud to be the go-to person on for certain tasks and how-to’s!
My leadership skills would fall between two of the super ability categories: Innovation Power and Empathy Power. With my job role being marketing assistant, I must always be thinking of new and innovative ideas. I also fall under empathy power as I can understand and relate to those around me. Having a better understanding of how team members are feeling makes it easier for me to beneficially establish a good working relationship.
There is notably a wide range of different leadership super abilities amongst out team. Why not see which of the seven super abilities you possess? Are there any you would like to work on?
We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Edge: The ego epidemic: the rise of the narcissist leader. March/ April 2016. Pg. 28-33.