The 5 lost superpowers leaders need to tap to succeed

The enterprise group is abuzz with dialogue on the Great Resignation: why it’s occurring, the way it’s occurring, and who it’s occurring to. Just ten minutes spent on LinkedIn would counsel that completely everyone seems to be quitting and nobody is aware of what to do about it.

The need for worker retention has seemingly by no means been larger (or extra determined), however that need itself is nothing new. For a long time, leaders have looked for fixes to this costly drawback they usually’ve positioned their bets on every thing from group modifications to administration programs to, extra lately, free beer, snacks and limitless paid day off.

The widespread thread right here? We’re wanting within the unsuitable locations to clear up our issues.


What’s wanted is a dramatic change within the behaviors that leaders exhibit, one which comes from inside ourselves. When leaders exhibit pure human behaviors—curiosity, resilience, authenticity, compassion, and playfulness—they take step one in creating a brand new tradition. We name these, in our e book, The Five Lost Superpowers they usually cover in every one in all us, unused within the fashionable working world, slowly withering the additional we get from our childhoods.  

When we resurface these qualities inside ourselves, we exhibit to our workers that it’s protected for us all to discover our personal superpowers, to be foolish, to be taught and fail, to be authentically ourselves. We really feel like extra than simply cogs in a wheel, we really feel human. We thrive. 


Curiosity is our fast-pass to studying about issues, conditions, folks, and every thing else that exists in a quickly altering world. Curiosity retains us from pondering now we have all of the solutions and opens us up to innovation, connection, and creativeness.

Children are improbable at asking questions: Why is the sky blue? Why does my stomach button appear to be that?  Why do I’ve to eat peas? Yet as we age, we’re rewarded for our solutions, not our questions. We begin to worry not being proper, not figuring out. What we must always worry extra is just not asking good questions. Why? These are the keys to pondering extra broadly and to discovering new methods of doing, fixing, and approaching the world.


When leaders embrace curiosity about their folks—what issues to them, what drives them, what they need—their folks really feel seen, understood, and valued. Data clearly reveals that these are virtually universally what folks need extra of at work. When leaders exhibit skilled curiosity, they unleash it within the folks round them too, feeding these wants and constructing tradition, progressive concepts, and options alongside the best way. 


We do our greatest work and expertise essentially the most ease once we can present up as our genuine selves. For many alternative folks to thrive, leaders have to encourage and settle for quite a lot of work and communication types. It’s vital to discover how narrowly outlined the behaviors and outcomes that get rewarded are in any tradition. Generating a tradition of authenticity usually consists of increasing the definition of how one thing “should” be and who will get rewarded for what they convey to the desk. 

We expertise others as genuine once we really feel they’re being truthful in what they are saying and in how they present up. As leaders, sharing what is difficult, what’s unsure, and what you hope for can construct belief and connection. People sense they will belief you since you are keen to be weak by sharing extra of your self and the place issues stand.

People need function fashions to exhibit that imperfection is OK, that all of us have laborious days and typically we get it unsuitable—however from that, we develop. When leaders present up authentically or experiment with what which means for them, it offers everybody else permission to do the identical. 



Resilience is one thing we sometimes be taught from our environments. It’s that innate skill now we have to carry on going regardless of adversity. Our resilience is strengthened once we are given freedom to attempt, fail, and check out once more. The extra we attempt issues, the extra we develop. Yet if we’re solely rewarded for getting one thing proper, we lose sight of the worth of our experiences and our resilience suffers. 

When youngsters are studying to stroll, they fall and get again up, each time. But we lose that resilience when authority or an excessive amount of warning intervenes. If obstacles are knocked over earlier than we are able to expertise them, or we don’t discover one thing due to perceived threat, we by no means train resilience or be taught that the world doesn’t finish if we fail. 

Model resilience to your staff by focusing in your locus of management and the place you could have company. Show them that you just fail and it’s OK. The extra your folks be at liberty to fail and check out once more, the happier and extra ingenious your staff will probably be. 


Compassion is knowing the views and viewpoints of individuals not like you. It’s additionally appreciating that all of us need and wish various things.  As youngsters we provide everybody our compassion, but as we age, we develop boundaries round who deserves our compassion. We usually restrict it to both the folks “in our group” or those that we are able to one way or the other relate to.

A kindergarten scholar will congratulate an opponent on a purpose scored as a result of they did a fantastic job. Only 5 years later, a fifth grader will stomp the bottom and say “that kid’s a cheat!”

Compassion is tough. None of us really feel we obtain sufficient of it, and it requires time spent. But it’s one thing you desperately need to schedule—your workers require it. So arrange compassionate processes and techniques the place folks can thrive, and set up significant objectives that have in mind not simply what you or shareholders are doing, pondering, and feeling, however what these with different viewpoints would possibly need to develop into profitable. 


People love enjoyable and we naturally search it in its myriad types. Joy, levity, hilarity, cheekiness, and different sorts of enjoyable maintain in widespread the foundation of playfulness. They additionally exhibit that playfulness can take totally different types applicable to the scenario. We know not to search for the enjoyable of a curler coaster once we enter the boardroom, but when a office isn’t embracing any sort of playfulness, it’s seemingly not a spot the workers will actually take pleasure in.   

The good issues that make us human exist inside unstructured play, however we neglect this reality as a result of we’re outcome-oriented. We spend a lot of our time engaged on carrying out objectives that play takes a backseat. This “always-on” mode doesn’t end in higher work. Instead, it leads to burnout, lack of sleep, and despair. 

As a pacesetter, you possibly can incorporate playfulness by rewarding creativity for creativity’s sake and by scheduling time the place folks can speak freely, with out the boundaries of questions or expectations. Playfulness isn’t about ping pong tables. It’s about rewarding spontaneous, inventive, and imaginative pondering and behaviors.  

Reinvent Your Workplace

Businesses need sensible, progressive workers to provide you with huge, broad options for advanced issues and alter. That’s no secret. But to get that, they have to create an setting the place their folks really feel protected to achieve this. We’ve created organizations with slim focus and bounds to creativity, the place workers carry worry or concern, and a restricted sense of chance.  

The guardrails positioned on innovation, creativity, and drawback fixing additionally make it tougher for folks to join, so we give attention to the bonds that type when folks “go through hell” collectively. Yet we’re blind to the probabilities of what would possibly occur when folks accomplish issues collectively within the dynamic, thriving setting of The Five Lost Superpowers.  

Every superpower—curiosity, resilience, authenticity, compassion, and playfulness—nurtures and attends to what workers are lacking. Embracing and modeling them your self will assist get rid of the need to your workers to search for work elsewhere.

(*5*) is the president and founding father of the JMReid Group, a company coaching and facilitation firm. Corena Chase is an government coach and founding father of Chase Performance Strategies. The pair cowrote, with Andrew Reid and Lynae Steinhagen, The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them Back.

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