“If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”
This is a fun question we often ask team building participants to discuss in pairs as we hike them to our outdoor “team challenge course”. The answers (and the motive behind them) vary widely. Popular answers include the ability to fly, invisibility and x-ray vision.
Perhaps my favorite superpower is one from my good friend, John Schirle, who would understand and speak every language in the world.
Think of the power that holds – to understand and speak every language on earth. Consider the problems you could solve. Consider the conflicts you might prevent! Since a “common language” is one of the most powerful contributors to optimizing team performance, you would be the next best thing to a common language as a translator for the entire world.
My superpower? I want to be the super hero known as “Influencer!” I want the power to change anything.
Of course, that’s what the authors of the 2007 book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything had in mind. They teach us how to create the change we would like to see in the world using a powerfully simple framework of three principles and six basic strategies.
The key to successful influence lies in three powerful principles:
- Identify a handful of high-leverage behaviors that lead to rapid and profound change.
- Use personal and vicarious experience to change thoughts and actions.
- Marshall multiple sources of influence to make change inevitable.
The six sources of influence are:
- Personal Motivation – take satisfaction from the right behaviors rather than the wrong behaviors
- Personal Ability – have the skills and knowledge to perform what is required
- Social Motivation – active encouragement by others of the right behaviors and discouragement of the wrong behaviors
- Social Ability – others provide help and resources at critical times
- Structural Motivation – clear and meaningful rewards for right behaviors
- Structural Ability – aspects of the environment make the vital behavior convenient, easy and safe
By following this model, I gain powerful strategies to create rapid, dramatic, and permanent change in my business, my personal life, and my world. I can change anything.
Back on the path to team building, we also ask participants, “If you could go anywhere, where would you go?” and “If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be?”
The first question provides the opportunity to walk people through a goal achievement process that helps them as individuals make possible what at first seems impossible. Where would I go? Lechuguilla Cave. But that’s another story…
The latter question typically brings up suggestions of problems that contemporary thought considers to be impossible; thinks like ending war, poverty, hate crimes and cancer. What problem would I solve? All of them! At least all of them that stem from human behavior; I guess I might have to leave cancer to others.
That’s the superpower I would have as the super hero named Influencer! Of course, if we follow the model outlined in the book we all have access to this superpower. We all can be Influencers! at The Intersection of Purpose and Now.