How to create a business of superheroes


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The business world is under threat from villains near and far. Difficult times call for a new type of hero. Leaders must empower their teams to step up and be the high performers they were born to be. But beware the talent kryptonite that could drain you of your powers.

I may not be the business hero you want. But I’m certainly the hero you need.

Why? Because you’re facing a threat like nothing you’ve seen before. The tried and tested hero’s journey of hiring employees with specific technical skills is rapidly giving way to a new approach: The need to create a workforce of superheroes. If you don’t don your cape and adapt your methods with the velocity of a speeding bullet, you risk being left behind.

In 2023 and beyond, business owners are recognising the need to empower their employees with extraordinary qualities that go beyond technical expertise.

What’s more, this isn’t just about turning your team into superheroes, you need to turn the laser beam of greatness upon yourself.

Winning leaders are those who will understand how to accomplish this remarkable transformation. Although I must warn you: with great power comes great responsibility.

The chosen one

The concept of creating a workforce of superheroes is not about capes and masks but about instilling extraordinary qualities in your employees. In essence, a superhero workforce comprises individuals who possess a unique blend of skills, traits, and mindset that collectively enable them to transcend challenges and drive business success.

True success arises from a combination of mindset, adaptability, and the ability to navigate uncertainty. These principles form the foundation of a superhero workforce that can thrive in the ever-changing business landscape.

But why superheroes? Why not just dish out a traditional ‘learning and development’ programme that drags on longer than building a Bayfair bypass?

A superhero workforce is required because, in a traditional business sense, the rise of AI and increased political and economic turmoil means we are approaching the endgame.

Called to greatness

To create a workforce that is fit for the future, you need employees who possess unique ‘X factors’ of skills, talents and abilities:

› Adaptability: Superheroes are known for their ability to adapt to any situation. In the ever-evolving Kiwi business world (not to mention a potential change in government on the horizon), adaptability is crucial. When employees can seamlessly pivot in response to market shifts and emerging trends, your business can remain agile and competitive.

› Resilience: Superheroes bounce back from setbacks, and so should your employees. Building mental resilience ensures that your workforce can overcome obstacles and stay focused on long-term goals, even in the face of adversity.

› Innovation: Superheroes often find creative solutions to complex problems. Encouraging innovative thinking among your employees is essential for staying ahead in a rapidly evolving market.

› Leadership: Superheroes lead by example and inspire those around them. Cultivating leadership qualities within your workforce empowers employees at all levels to take initiative and drive positive change.

› Collaboration: Even the most iconic superheroes collaborate with others to achieve their goals. Foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration to harness the collective strengths of your workforce.

So far, so ‘too good to be true’. Everyone would like superhero abilities, but most people are confined to the streets while the chosen few soar through the skies.

So how do you go about creating the everyday hero from the most mild and unassuming employee?

Many are called, few are chosen

Want to create an army of empowered talent willing to run through walls and address their weaknesses, without losing their authenticity? Then YOU must step up and be the superhero leader you’ve always needed to be.

You need to master the art of turning an everyday boss into superhuman leadership:

Serve them, don’t please them: You’re not there to be your team’s faithful companion. Be willing to lead – not to be “right”, but to provoke their thinking. Ask hard questions. Hide nothing and hold nothing back. Speak your truth and draw out theirs. That’s how you’ll draw the same from your employees.

Don’t let your people get ready: No one is ever ready before they run their first workshop, take on their first leadership role, sign their first client, get married, become a parent, or launch into a new market. Don’t let your team members wait to be ready.

› Refuse to buy into their story: You’d be surprised at how often employees fight for their limitations. “That’s just the way I am …”; “We don’t do things that way here …”; “But this client is so difficult…”. One of the biggest gifts we can give our team members is to refuse to buy into their story. One of the best ways we can challenge our colleague’s thinking is to refuse to accept what they currently believe is impossible.

› Upgrade their questions: When you lead high-performing teams, your job is not to answer their questions. Your real job is helping them upgrade the quality of the questions they are working into. Your job is not to tell top performers your powerful wisdom, it’s to stimulate their thinking and create the space for their own career-changing insights.

› “I believe in you”: The most powerful words in superhero leadership are “I believe in you.” You can’t fake them. You have to feel them in your heart. When you say them, your colleague feels them in every cell of their being. You cannot underestimate the impact of knowing that your leader believes in you deeply. Especially when you are struggling to believe in yourself.

› They need you more than you need them. Remember that the person in front of you is far more powerful than they know. They are far closer to what they desire than they could ever imagine. They don’t need ‘help’, but they do need you far more than they could have thought possible.

Leaders, assemble

By intentionally fostering these superpowers within your workforce – and finding hidden strengths within yourself – you empower your employees to overcome challenges, drive innovation, and navigate uncertainties.

The result? A dynamic and agile organisation poised to thrive in an ever-changing world – truly a business of superheroes.

Can’t wait for the sequel.

Related: True business wealth? It’s only a matter of time

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Freddie Bennett
Freddie Bennett
Guinness World Record Holder, podcast host and bestselling author, Freddie is known as ‘The Profit Hunter’. He helps business owners enjoy more time, money and freedom by discovering and extracting hidden profits in their companies. Freddie@conqueryourmedia.com

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