Where do real life superheroes come from? How do they earn their capes and masks? Some are born to a position of responsibility. Some have a yearning to be a hero, awaiting validation. Others are reluctant or accidental heroes who grew into their capes.
While the road varies, all superheroes share one thing in common, they believe they are super. Superheroes start from within. We may not know at first we are superheroes, but we will become what we believe.
I am a superhero.
I am courageous, compassionate, and confident. I've achieved remarkable results of which I am incredibly proud, and I've used my superpowers to develop people and organizations around the world.
I may be a superhero today, but I didn’t start my career as a superhero. I started my career as a mouse. And I don't mean Mighty Mouse. When I graduated from college I thought I would be the classic, design engineer in a starched white lab coat. That thought quickly evaporated as I realized I was a terrible engineer.
I was too theoretical, too timid. I didn’t stand up for myself and I didn’t believe I could be a leader. My boss started to attend all meetings with me, and my boss’s boss repeatedly compared me unfavorably to the other new engineer.
I might have been a mouse, but I was not a quitter. Determined to improve my practical skills I asked for a manufacturing assignment. Three months later I was transferred to a plant. During the nine hour drive to northeast Pennsylvania I decided I had to change, and made a goal to reinvent myself as a confident leader. I vowed to do what was needed, and even fake confidence if I had to, in order to remake myself.
I worked hard at engaging with confidence, and in only six months, I was completely transformed. I loved working with people and was given opportunities to lead. My confidence soared we delivered great results. My boss's boss came for a visit and could scarcely contain his shock at my transformation and the difference I was making.
My transformation wasn’t just through my actions. I have to thank the many people of the Mehoopany Plant who took the time to see something in me and develop me. But it started with me. It started with a belief in me, by me and I grew into a confident leader.
If you don't believe you are a superhero, you are not. Then ask yourself, “why not”? I challenge you to believe in your inner superhero and to inspire the superheroes hidden around you.
It's time. Put on your cape today.
Interested in superheroes? Read Teach Your Organization to Exceed and learn how to coach for extraordinary performance.