Growing up I used to watch the Batman TV series starring Adam West (yes, Batman in tights). It was both humorous and thrilling with all the “POWS” and “BAMS” when fighting the villains.
If you were a superhero, which power would you use and whom would you protect or save?
I was recently on a Zoom call with entrepreneurs identifying their own strengths. Someone said, “that is your superpower for others.” It reminded me of when Peter Parker’s father said, “with great power comes great responsibility” in the Spiderman movie.
I started to think differently about my strengths, not just for my advantage, but for others as well. I’d been accustomed to applying my strengths to my career and my family. Why not think of how to intentionally hone that into a superpower to serve others through my business or for the common good?
What are your greatest strengths that can be used for the common good?
I’ve put together a short quiz to help you evaluate yourself on the characteristics of social entrepreneurs. They are the traits of entrepreneurs who create valuable products and services that have a double and sometimes triple bottom line (profits, people and planet).
Here are just a few of those characteristics - take the free quiz to get them all.
PEOPLE FIRST - Do you make decisions that value people as the greatest resource and as key stakeholders in your business? Decisions including how, when, and where employees work, ingredients and inputs that were sourced in a fair and equitable manner, governance and decision-making about how profits should be distributed. All of these have a significant impact on people near and far in our interconnected world.
ADAPTIVE - Do you have the discipline to design solutions through trial and error? Are you willing to listen and change? It's important not to fall in love with your idea too much. Innovators and lean startup entrepreneurs know they must be agile and adaptive. This is especially true for social innovators and entrepreneurs; they must think in a holistic way to meet mission and margin goals, listen to all the customer types they serve, and make decisions that may be in conflict with traditional profit-only practices.
RESILIENT - What is your ability to rebound from adversity? This is a hard one because some people may not have the resources or context to rebound so easily. However, studies have shown that children raised in adverse environments often can be more resilient as adults. When we learn healthy coping skills and practice mindfulness, we are more likely to persevere through difficulties. As a leader of a social enterprise, you will always face challenges (from within and outside) and must be able to lead with vulnerability AND resilience. I’ve often seen these leaders among marginalized communities; they rise above and lead others to a better future and common good.
My hope is that you are building your skills and character in resilience, adaptability, and selflessness. Check out our new quiz for more areas to evaluate yourself and reflect upon what superpowers are available to you and for the common good.