When people ask me about joining startups, I always ask them what their superpower is. What is that thing that you can be counted on to do better than anyone else on the team? It could be that you’re willing to stay up for 3 straight days and grind out a deadline. It could be that you are the best writer and are super creative. Maybe you can raise money for the startup through connections or experience. Maybe you can prototype fast, even if your production code is mediocre. Maybe you can help recruit new employees to the team because of your contacts and enthusiasm. Maybe you know how to buy traffic cheaply and run the spreadsheets to never make a mistake. Maybe you’re great in presentations and speaking.
If you have a superpower, and you know what it is, a start up team might find you useful. If you don’t have a superpower, then you have to create one. Maybe you’ll work for free. Maybe you’ll be the first who’s willing to take the risk of believing in their crazy idea.
Even if you’re in a small company or a big one, it’s important to develop a superpower or two. Then people know what to come to you for.
One thought on “Career Advice: What’s your Superpower?”
Recognizing and using one’s SuperPower more often (use Buckingham/Clifton Strengthsfinder to help you know, yet the 3-day “rule” cited in this post works best for me) is the most likely way to not only start a business but savor one’s life.
And, when one can spark others to use their SuperPower on a project together, then there’s a greater Leverage Effect.
People become happier and higher-performing – together. This is an extremely practical way to move from me to we.
On the Obama campaign this approach enabled us to form issues teams fast and to see them form strong bonds around a single and singular task. Left me re-inspired about, what you might see as using our SuperPowers together. Thank you for this meaty blog!