The 12 Superpowers to Lead & Be Limitless! – Renée Giarrusso
The 12 Superpowers to Lead & Be Limitless! by Renée Giarrusso – Contents
- Limitless Leaders Are Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
- Limitless Leaders Are Intentional in Thoughts & Actions
- Limitless Leaders Are Purpose Led
- Limitless Leaders Are Motivationally Intelligent
- Limitless Leaders Delegate
- Limitless Leaders Have Strong Self-belief
- Limitless Leaders Have a Bursting Mindset
- Limitless Leaders Adopt a Gift Mindset™
- Limitless Leaders Coach & Seek Feedback
- Limitless Leaders Are Courageous
- Limitless Leaders Are Effective Communicators
- Limitless Leaders Have High Emotional & Social Intelligence
THE 12 SUPERPOWERS OF A LIMITLESS LEADER™
Limitless Leaders learn, unlearn and learn again. They constantly evolve and adapt and continuously grow and develop themselves and, in their path, create future leaders.
Over the years working with hundreds of leaders from a plethora of industries we have witnessed first-hand what mindsets, traits, skills and habits can create success or stifle it. The commonalities have been profound whether our clients have been leading a team at a mid to senior-level or simply leading themselves, the center of all leadership is self-leadership.
There are many traits, mindsets, perspectives, skills, and habits that we believe allow a leader to bring his or her “whole self “to work and lead limitlessly. We’ve identified 12 key Superpowers that can either bring you, your team and organization success or if flipped can do the exact opposite.
A Superpower is defined as ‘an exceptional or extraordinary power or ability’ and any of the 12 Superpowers identified can be built upon ongoing until they become a subconscious part of your leadership.
Your Superpower is literally your secret sauce, something unique to you. It may be a skill or trait others may have but unique to you as there is no one else who is you.
Superpowers can help us sprint instead of run, walk instead of crawl and can be skill-based, a quality or a trait. It can be obvious to see or maybe hidden. We think of Superman or Wonder Woman, not many knew of their true powers as they worked behind the scenes. Sharing your Superpowers can help others grow and can assist you as a leader, to create future leaders and show others the way so they can learn from you.
By identifying your superpowers, you can identify the superpowers in those that you lead.
We truly believe that by adopting and growing the below 12 Superpowers you will become that leader that can combat being limited in your abilities and impact and instead lead to be limitless.
Limited or Limitless? The choice is yours…
1. Limitless Leaders Are Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
All growth is outside of our comfort zone, getting comfortable being uncomfortable is key.
Limitless Leaders see self-doubt and taking themselves outside of their comfort zone as a good thing as this creates a trigger to learn more, explore more and expand their thinking. Anything outside of thinking “I know” is growth and being stretched outside what you know helps you explore and discover new ways of how to do things and how not to do things.
By taking risks and challenging the status quo and what you know can set the scene for others to follow and adopt a “comfortable being uncomfortable” mindset. With change as the only constant, we are facing, Limitless Leaders know that stretching themselves and others are key to staying relevant, challenged and innovative in today’s business landscape. Doing everyday things differently ensures you will continue to step outside your comfort zone.
Questioning how things are done and explaining new things can take you and others outside your comfort zone.
Limited Leaders Stay Comfortable
If you feel like you can do your job with your eyes closed this a good sign you are too comfortable. Your comfort zone is related to your stress level and when in it you feel relaxed and comfortable in what you are doing.
Going outside of this zone can raise your anxiety at differing levels but if for the right reason can have huge payoffs.
Being in a comfort zone for too long can stifle your growth and that of those around you. It’s hard to add value if you are not seeking knowledge and growth yourself. Limited leaders usually have what we call a bubble mindset, where they believe all they need to know and be is already within them without exploring new growth, possibilities and ways of thinking.
Taking risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone does not come naturally to you and this trait can cascade down and across to others if they take your example as a lead. Exploring what is outside of your comfort zone can be daunting but once you master getting outside of this zone it becomes comfortable again and you need to challenge yourself to continuously step out.
2. Limitless Leaders Are Intentional in Thoughts & Actions
That was then, this is now but being prepared for what’s next is key. Limitless Leaders know that change is the only constant and if you are truly leading you need to be looking ahead and feeling into it.
Strategic thinking, innovation and creating different, not better, is key.
Thinking ahead of the pack and leading not just managing is vital to stay relevant. Deep intentional awareness of things such as building strategic relationships, future innovation, and critical thinking, by having deep conversations with your team and leading people and managing activity with a plan and the end in mind are some examples where being intentional can go a long way. Being on purpose and deliberate is key in all that you do, without intention there is no direction.
Limited Leaders Are Impulsive
Being and doing what you need to do in the now will serve you day to day but only for a matter of time. Limited Leaders tend to be impulsive, reactive and on a treadmill running in the present. They need to look ahead and base their decisions not only on the past and present but highly on the future and be aware of the impact of this. They tend to react vs respond and conversations, interactions and relationships can be transactional and impulsive in nature. There may be little planning and looking outside the square as when in an impulsive mode, responses are like sugar hits, quick, punchy and sweet at the time without any longevity and impact.
Being intentional and looking forward means you are planned, prepared and not stagnant…
What do you need to change to do this?
3. Limitless Leaders Are Purpose Led
Knowing your purpose and that of the organization is key. Your purpose is your “why” to fly.
At its core, your leadership purpose springs from your identity, the essence of who you are. The purpose is not a list of the education, experience, and skills you’ve gathered in your life. Instead, it gives you meaning and direction and this cascades down to your team, across to your peers and upwards.
Knowing your passions, interests, talents, and skills is key to knowing and staying on purpose. It is the reason you get out of bed in the morning. Knowing your values and your strengths are the basis of knowing your purpose and being aligned to this and the organization in which you work.
Limited Leaders Have a Vague Purpose
In recent studies, it has been shown that fewer than 20% of leaders have a strong sense of their own individual purpose.
Like going on a trip with no destination, chances are you are caught up in the “doing” and you are busy and most probably managing and not leading.
Academics argue persuasively that an executive’s most important role is to be a steward of the organization’s purpose. Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance, while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being.
Identify what lights you up, satisfy and drive this and see your happiness, fulfillment, and productivity amplified.
Why do you do what you do?
Something to ponder…..
4. Limitless Leaders Are Motivationally Intelligent
Motivation fuels behavior, it’s energy and it is contagious. Limitless Leaders know what motivates them and they satisfy this ongoing to ensure they are lit up. They understand what motivates others around them and leverage this to ensure strengths are maximized and people are happy, on purpose and fulfilled.
Motivation can account for up to 65% of the predictability of your success in a role.
Research has shown that the ability to inspire and motivate others is the number one competency that differentiates poor from good leaders, and in predicting high employee engagement. Think of a lighthouse emitting light, you cannot control how brightly it shines unless you go into the lighthouse and see what is going on. A bit like motivating others, you need to get deeply aware of what lights you and others up, from the inside, and then satisfy this ongoing. Limitless Leaders do this and regularly check-in and know and grow what motivates others.
Limited Leaders Don’t Motivate
Being unaware of what motivates you and others can really create a chink in the chain of connection, productivity, and fulfillment. If you are unmotivated and dragging your energy and potential this will rub off on others and can really affect building a high performing team culture and morale in a negative way. Not being motivated and doing what really fuels can make you come across as uninspiring. You may be doing well in your role but not truly happy as you are not consciously identifying, satisfying and amplifying what truly lights you up.
Think about what lights you up and bring more of that in as much as you can.
Find ways to help direct reports and peers identify what lights them up and leverage this to grow and develop new skills as a team and organization. Identify what lights you up. Satisfy and drive this and see your happiness, fulfillment, and productivity amplified.
5. Limitless Leaders Delegate
Limitless Leaders delegate and do this as part of a master plan to know and grow individuals in their team. They delegate with purpose and give their team the “What” but not the “how” in order to create a space of empowerment and development for the individuals/s involved. Delegation is a normal part of their leadership and a key mantra is “Delegate what I like doing”. This serves the Limitless Leader in two ways, they let go of something they have already grown from and in turn this allows someone else to learn new skills.
Delegation can be temporary, and it can also be shared, this creates a space for peer accountability and team ownership and assists in building a strengths-based team.
Limitless Leaders delegate as part of a master plan and know what strengths can be leveraged and further developed and what gaps can be explored and bridged.
Limited Leaders Hold on to Tasks
Letting go of tasks and responsibilities is not your strong point. Maybe you attempt to delegate but your instructions are vague, or you delegate to the wrong person for the wrong reason. Maybe you fear failure, lack trust in others, think you can do the task faster or better or maybe you are too attached to the outcome.
Limited Leaders don’t delegate or when they do, they may stay attached to the task at hand.
You simply cannot be a good leader if you can’t delegate. Many managers confuse training and delegation, one instills learning and the other does this through a task with which you no longer need to be hands-on. Two very different things. Failing to delegate to others stifles growth and empowerment within your team and weighs you down time-wise and prevents you from leading and allowing time on the things that really matter and make a difference. Being a balanced leader means you need to: lead people, manage activity and develop yourself. Failing to delegate will keep you focused and operational within the “managing activity” area and will not allow you the time and headspace to lead people and develop self.
They check in on progress but let the person take full ownership and responsibility and decide how and when they would like to be monitored. Team morale, efficiency, and productivity can be boosted through effective delegation and people’s strengths can be realized when they have an opportunity to do something new on their terms. Delegating tasks and authority go hand in hand for a delegation to be effective as this creates a space for empowerment and true ownership.
Clearly communicating the delegation, choosing the right person/s and assigning full responsibility with a mindset of success for the other person/s can really set the scene to let others go and grow and get your time back as a leader.
6. Limitless Leaders Have Strong Self-belief
Your beliefs are based on your personal position resulting from factors such as experience, values, culture, biases, etc. Limitless Leaders believe they have the capacity, competence, and courage to do whatever it takes to lead people to success. They believe they can, and they do.
Their beliefs shape their decisions and their energy and confidence around others. Limitless Leaders know what they value and what’s important to them. These things shape beliefs that serve them and their team and organization. They regularly check in on what they stand for and what they don’t and how this plays out in decision making and their day to day actions.
There is a theory (Bandura 1977) which states that self-efficacy is built on one’s beliefs in the likelihood of future success and that those who believe they can influence the events of their lives have high self-efficacy. While those who feel they are not in control and have little to no impact on what will happen to them in the future have low self-efficacy (Limited Leaders).
Limitless Leaders have high self-efficacy and are focused on current beliefs about the future.
Limited Leaders Lack Self-belief
If what you see, feel and tell yourself doesn’t serve your greatest good you need to let this go. It can create a feeling of uncertainty in employees when they are following a leader who doesn’t trust themselves. When a Limited Leader lacks trust in themselves this affects how employees feel and can impact how they feel even having trust in themselves.
Remind yourself of your abilities, your purpose, your values, and your direction. When your self-belief is truly ignited others cannot help but believe in you and in turn, themselves.
Lack of self-belief and even low self-esteem can affect not just you but those around you as well. Let go of limiting beliefs, the ones that hold you back, limit and constrain you. Reframe these to serve you and move you forward.
Failing to believe in yourself is like a house with no foundation. There is no solid base to build on and therefore all your hard work and intentions can be diluted as your conviction and belief are lacking. When did you believe in yourself? What changed?
As a leader, visualize yourself as to how you want to be.
7. Limitless Leaders Have a Bursting Mindset
You believe the sky is the limit when it comes to learning new things and increasing intellect, skills and developing this further. You embrace feedback and apply it to better yourself. Chances are you like delivering feedback as much as you enjoy receiving it and this is a great trait to have.
Limitless Leaders have what we call a bursting mindset and the result of this is that you can instill belief in your team and their abilities along with your own.
You are open-minded, comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity and have strong situational awareness. You take ownership and grow with people. You enjoy growing and learning and this impacts what you learn and the value you give.
Self-growth is important to you and you have sustainable habits to ensure this you continue to develop yourself and others around you.
Limited Leaders Have a Bubble Mindset
A mindset is a person’s view or philosophy of life and is simply a collection of beliefs and thoughts. Limited Leaders believe that what you have and who you are is set in stone and cannot be changed. Individuals who adopt what we believe is a bubble mindset rarely excel at anything. Due to believing that their intelligence and abilities are what they are and set, they invest their energy in looking smart instead of learning and developing. You may believe talent creates success, without effort. Not always open to feedback and self-growth you may see yourself, your skills and your potential encapsulated in a bubble.
You may come across unteachable, uncoachable and not interested in growing.
What will it cost you not to change this mindset as far as self-growth and that of others?
8. Limitless Leaders Adopt a Gift Mindset™
Embracing the obstacles and challenges whether they come in the form of people or situations is vital in any role and in life in general. Limitless Leaders have a Gift Mindset ™ and are aware of these challenges and accept them as an opportunity to learn the lessons and share these with the greater team and business. They also help others to overcome challenges, understand, and share the lesson. Limitless leaders with this mindset are more willing to take risks and encourage others to voice their ideas, challenge the status quo and play their ideas out. When things go wrong, they encourage others to be aware of the lesson, accept this and move on. They also look at the lessons learned when faced with positive situations and people and share the experience and lessons of these. Key gifts learned through having a Gift Mindset™ include:
Adopting a Gift Mindset™, Limitless Leaders are aware of the event and accept this as an experience. The lesson is then acknowledged and shared for the greater good.
Limited Leaders see challenges as a negative
We all face challenges and we need, in order to grow, to innovate and stay ahead of the pack.
Limited Leaders may overlook a challenge or not take the time to learn the lesson from it. This usually flows onto others and creates a culture that may be afraid to take risks or embrace the unknown and challenge the status quo. Maybe you have faced some challenges that have set you back and on a path to avoidance. The obstacle can sometimes be the way, but this is not your philosophy. You may be overcome a bump in the road and only see the negative side. It may take you a while to get back on track or you may dismiss the challenge and simply move on and not reflect on why it happened and the lesson to be learned and shared with others.
Think about what challenges you have overcome and how the lessons of these challenges could serve your team and organization.
Awareness creates acceptance and then the lesson can be clearer to share and action.
9. Limitless Leaders Coach & Seek Feedback
Regular coaching can result in up to a 70% improvement in work performance and a 72% improvement in communication skills (ICF studies). Limitless Leaders jealously protect the time to coach their team. Formally (best practice 1 hr per month pp) or informally by asking great questions ongoing is key. This builds a coach centric culture and by coaching, which is simply delegating thinking, others grow and are empowered.
Coaching can assist you to create future leaders and get the time back so you can lead and focus on what really matters.
Ongoing feedback conversations are vital too and this can come in the form of 2-way feedback. Regular, consistent and honest feedback catches people out doing things well and ensures no surprises and open dialogue ongoing. Coaching can assist in creating future leaders.
Limitless Leaders ask great questions, one at a time and shape the next question based on the response they get.
Limited Leaders Tell & Inform
You may tend to give all the answers as this may be a quicker way to help those in your team, but it is not sustainable. This is a common trait of many managers and the issue with this is, that this will keep you at a very operational level and in a management mindset vs that of a leadership one. There is a time to inform and a time to step back and empower others through the mode of coaching, questioning, and regular ongoing two-way feedback.
Limited Leaders sometimes want to control the outcome and situation and therefore like
to have all the answers. Asking questions of others whether in an informal conversation or a formally planned coaching session gets the other person to think and paves the way for them to come up with their own solutions and self-thinking. This not only empowers them and creates future leaders, but it also frees up time for you to do the things that really matter.
What will it cost you not to let others grow by thinking for themselves? What will it cost your leadership?
10. Limitless Leaders Are Courageous
Limitless Leaders exude courage and push through uncomfortable situations, make the hard decisions and rarely back down. They lead boldly, take risks and model the way for others to do the same. Courageous leaders are never silent around the hard things; they are usually the ones that initiate them in the first place. When leading with courage they pave the way for others, have strong self-belief and are strong and aligned in your values and your mission and what you stand for. Passionate and purposeful they recognize their abilities and motivations. They confront reality head-on, seek feedback, listen, and are always open to saying what needs to be said. Leading boldly with courage helps to create a culture where this is the normal way of thinking and people will tend to be more open and voice their opinions and ideas no matter how blue sky they may seem.
Limitless Leaders show courage, take new initiatives onboard head-on and look at them like launching experiments, part of the everyday.
Limited Leaders Lack Courage
Lacking courage is a trait of a Limited Leader. They may have had experiences and past references that have resulted in a lack of courage and this won’t serve them as a leader in today’s world.
Key traits of leaders lacking courage include setting safety standards and goals, doing what has always been done and discouraging new ideas and thinking from others for fear of failure and the unknown. They may stifle the ideas of others, avoid change and any talk of change and shut down new ideas of thinking. They may also avoid making the hard decisions and will stick to known ways.
Lack of self-belief and confidence can trigger a lack of courage. As Brené Brown says we need to choose courage over comfort.
There is no innovation without courage and sometimes failure. Limited Leaders tend to promote a “safe” environment and culture usually relying on past success and what is going on in the present instead of looking at what’s next. Ramping up courage takes courage but stake a step back and think about past successes, what you believe to be true that will empower you and back yourself.
What abilities, traits, and habits will help you step up?
11. Limitless Leaders Are Effective Communicators
Communication is the response that we get, and Limitless Leaders know how to shape and shift their message to get this. The best leaders communicate 50% of the time and listen to the remaining 50%. This is the recipe for perfect communication.
Communicative leaders will always engage employees in dialogue, seek and share feedback, practice participative decision-making and will involve others.
Research regularly highlights the importance of communication in the roles of the top, middle, and team leaders. They communicate clearly, openly and consistently with those around them and have high awareness when reading a room and people and listening to what is not being said. They adapt their style and focus to suit the environment whether it be face to face, verbally or online. Energy and how they portray this is top of mind and they amplify their energy to be 20% above those they are interacting with. Building rapport is vital when communicating and this is something Limitless Leaders™ know how to build and maintain.
Deep listening is a focus and Limitless Leaders cannot be effective communicators unless they listen actively. This is a skill that they consistently focus on, gain feedback on and work at developing. Communication is timely whether negative or positive in nature.
Limited Leaders Don’t Communicate Effectively
Being an effective communicator and listener is not a strong point for the Limited Leader. They may not be aware of a gap in this area and this can have an adverse effect on their leadership. Their team, interactions and results, as well as the culture around them, maybe deeply impacted. They may focus on the negatives, disregard feelings by not communicating and listening deeply and may be seen as taking a directive approach versus an inclusive one.
Limited Leaders may foster one-way communication and the result of this is they are always the talker and rarely drive feedback and response due to their lack of listening ability.
We think in about 400 words per minute and speak at 125 words per minute, so it is no wonder listening is one of the rarest and most challenging skills to master. Limited Leaders may also focus on the personal side when dealing with problems instead of focusing on the actual problem.
Taking a step back to gain feedback on how you communicate and access the responses and impact you may not be making can create a compelling reason to work on these two key areas vital in any role, especially that of a leader.
12. Limitless Leaders Have High Emotional & Social Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others. Sometimes known as “soft skills’ I call them “life skills” and believe EI is an imperative trait to master in order to be a Limitless Leader.
The Godfather of EI, Daniel Goleman believes in 5 key components:
- Social skills
Recent studies have shown 71% of hiring managers stated they valued EI over IQ and 75% were more likely to promote a highly emotionally intelligent worker. Limitless Leaders constantly learn, unlearn and evolve and EI is the portal to this. They take the time to be aware and know their emotions and manage them. They are self-motivated and recognize and understand the emotions of others and have great social awareness in managing relationships. They control their thoughts, demonstrate empathy, look at criticism as a place to learn and provide constructive feedback and praise others. Keeping their word builds reliability and trust and therefore a strong reputation of commitment. Those high in EI listen and help others and can positively impact the emotions of others and build trust while inspiring others to follow their lead.
soft skills = life skills
Limited Leaders Lack Emotional Intelligence & Awareness
Low emotional intelligence (EI) can really impact leadership and the way you communicate, forge, sustain and grow relationships.
Many people who are technically brilliant can tend to get caught up in the process, structure and outcome and the people piece can be forgotten. EI is finally being recognized as a key trait of being an effective leader and signs you may be lacking in this include: shallow relationships, poor rapport, reacting instead of responding, lack of self -awareness, taking criticism in a negative way, feeling unmotivated and a lack of interest in and the ability to read others. A Limited Leader may have impulsive and transactional interactions versus intentional and transformative ones.
Take the time to step back and understand and manage your emotions and the triggers related to these. By having deeper self-awareness, you will start to read and tap into the emotions of others and ways to manage these for the best outcomes.
Soft skills, what we call ‘life skills’ are vital to leadership and in any role.
Lead to Be Limitless…
Reflecting on where you sit against the 12 Superpowers is a great way to identify where you are playing and what gaps can be bridged to take you, your leadership and team to the next level.
The stress and busyness of life can often cause us to default to what is easy and what is known, this doesn’t always result in the best outcome. By investing in the time to access what Superpowers you could dial-up or reduce, will assist you in paving the way to be limitless and can help to build a culture of high performance that is constantly evolving, learning, unlearning and learning again.
Harness your Superpowers – Lead to be LIMITLESS
About Renée Giarrusso
Renée is an accomplished speaker, author, facilitator, trainer, and coach (PCC). She works with leaders, organizations, and teams energizing mindset, collaboration, and culture to lift performance.
She founded RG Dynamics 13 years ago after 18 years working in senior leadership, sales and marketing roles within a global FMCG. She has been working with leaders and teams across 24 industries including Telecommunications, Building, Engineering, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Professional Services, Consumer Durables, Government (job services), automotive, electronics and many more.
Renée is obsessed with working with individuals and their teams to fulfill their potential resulting in increased performance and success. She believes everyone is limitless in their ability to achieve this through applying skills, habits and a leadership mindset. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioral change around leadership, communication, coaching, presentation skills, and motivational intelligence leave her clients inspired, re-energized and with improved results. Renée published her first book Limitless Leadership™ in 2017, was featured in the anthology Leaders of Influence in 2018, and her third book is currently underway.
Renée works with organizations to help them develop and deeper understand their mindset, motivation, and communication resulting in increased productivity, performance, team collaboration, and a limitless culture.
Connect with Renée
Connect for a chat on how she and her team can assist at an individual, team or organization level and accelerate your mindset, collaboration, and performance to create Limitless Leadership™
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mobile: +61 (0) 408 381 641
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- Podcast: Access my Podcast Series here | Subscribe to Limitless Leaders™ Podcast on Apple Podcast or Android
- Bio: https://reneegiarrusso.com/renee-giarrusso/
- Website: www.reneegiarrusso.com
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