Superpowers and Kryptonite
by Julie Diamond category Personal Power Superpower

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been exposed to a lot of leadership literature. Maybe you’ve attended a leadership course, or have been coached. Perhaps you even are a coach. But no matter where you are in your leadership development journey, no matter how much professional and personal development work you’ve done, you still come up against things that knock you off balance.

p2-blog-01You may be great at what you do, but like Superman, you have your Kryptonite. We all do. Maybe your Kryptonite is an unresolved issue or a person or type of person who makes you reactive. Maybe it’s a complex, like fear of failure, fear of conflict, or authority or anger issues.  When you come near your Kryptonite, you lose access to your thinking, to your inner compass and to your ability to lead, act, or speak out. And to make it worse, you begin to behave and respond inappropriately to your environment because you’re reacting to your inner stories and to the past but not to what’s actually happening.

When you hit your Kryptonite, like Superman, you lose power and stumble. But here’s the catch. We stumble only when we’ve been leaning on something that doesn’t support us. We stumble and lose power only when that power isn’t stable. And positional power isn’t stable. When we get triggered, our position, title, or status don’t hold us up because they don’t rest on a solid foundation. They’re based on other’s perception, a social hierarchy, and factors outside our control. The authority of your position is something you’re just leasing; it’s not yours. It doesn’t come from within. So when the situation gets shaky so does your positional power and ultimately, so do you. Without anything to lean on, you become dangerously dependent on your role and on other people’s compliance and perception. And this can be lethal to your career and to the careers of those you influence.

What you need is something that doesn’t get rocked, something that remains stable from situation to situation. Your personal power is just that. It’s like having travelers’ checks, a currency you can cash anywhere, in Kinshasa or Kyiv, Mumbai or Medellin. Personal power is the same, from place to place, context to context. But positional power only has value in one particular time and place. It’s the currency you “can’t take with you.”

Find out for yourself. Ask yourself this: what do you want to have with you on your death bed, or when you face a terrible personal loss, or a serious illness? Your job title? Your social status? Your wealth? Sure, money can buy you health care, but what’s going to help you with your fear of death, with overwhelming loneliness, inconsolable grief, or the terror of the unknown?

Workplace dynamics, organizational politics, stress, and difficult people aren’t in the same category as death and illness, but when it comes to our emotional triggers, we need the same thing: access to an inner resource that doesn’t get rocked; a power that we can reach for and rely on across all contexts, in the face of all possible challenges. And there’s only power that gives us that, our personal power.

The Leaderlab was created to give you the tools to find your personal powers.  It is based on the premise that grounding your positional power in your personal powers creates your superpower, a power that you can rely on across all contexts, regardless of the triggers, issues, or the organizational dynamics at play. When you are grounded in your personal power, you lead from who you are, and you’re free to use all that you have at your disposal to be outstanding, and to make really great things happen.

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