How many do you have? What is a superpower you may ask? That is my term for a generalizable and marketable skill. You can swiftly deploy such a skill on a moments notice. It shifts the odds of success in your favor and baffles your competition.
Although it may appear that you are amazingly super-talented in a dozen areas, it is truly a matter of skill development. Despite what Malcolm Gladwell may think, it won’t take 10,000 hours to develop a skill to a useful level.
Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) has written extensively about this online and in his book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.” Mr. Adams believes success is a game and you can boost your odds of winning by having a wide array of very basic skills.
Some of the performance areas/skills that may benefit from development include (suggested by Scott Adams):
- Public Speaking/Overcoming Shyness
I benefited from a community college speech course, a Dale Carnegie course, Toastmaster’s, and lots and lots of practice. Public speaking lends credibility to you and builds your network and flow of business contacts. It has acted as a super power in my life, for sure.
- Grammar/Foreign Language
- Proper voice/Conversation
- Understanding Psychology/Persuasion
- Business Writing
In the medical field, a physician who understands accounting is a rare animal. She can be very persuasive when requesting funding or equipment for patient care. The argument isn’t based on arguments of wants or “quality” but on reliable financial data in a spreadsheet.
- Technology (hobby level)
- Design (the basics)
Other superpowers I’m working on:
- Memory Systems
- Mental Math
- Voice Recognition Software
I am calm at the dentist and in traffic. I was able to get a colonoscopy with minimal sedation and an upper endoscopy without any sedation. I was able to drive home and enjoy the rest of the day. I stay focused after a procedure complication, being yelled at, or a traffic accident. I’m happier because of the practice. Consider the old, but useful book, “The Relaxation Response” or the app HeadSpace as easy ways to get started.
What do you think? Are these powerful skills in your opinion? Have you developed some of them? Are there others not mentioned here?