If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? This is the question I started asking myself in late December after clicking the kind of headline that sucks me in every time: The One Question All Successful People Can Answer Immediately. Who doesn't click that? Don't you want to be successful? Like, right now?
Ever since I went back to work I've been devouring stories like this from The Muse, these promises to make me better after an easy 2-minute read. They usually deliver. Articles on The Muse and LinkedIn have helped me bridge the gap between yoga-panted freelancer and respectable business leader who works well with others and no longer refers to "decks" as "PowerPoints."
According to the author of the superpower post, knowing your superpower provides focus and therefore competitive advantage. (I'm quite certain my powers are spreadsheets and sarcasm, thanks for asking.) I say knowing what you're good at is important, but knowing your Kryptonite might be even more important.
I, for example, am not the most relaxed person. Surprise! I might overreact here and there. The general tendency of my family to leave their dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is right there are you kidding me? may have compelled me to shout obscenities through the house on more than one occasion.
This is not the best way to have a peaceful home.
Dirty dishes aside, maintaining calm in the face of chaos wins in business too. More than good ideas, more than strategy, more than flawless execution, maybe even more than luck--what separates successful people from those who consistently struggle, is the ability to keep calm. That's not always easy, especially when your default mode is "Freak Out."
So, if we get to pick, and we do, my superpower of choice is Calm. I'll keep working on that. In the meantime, my spreadsheets will have to do.