Your Business Has Superpowers

THE BIG IDEA: Every business has a unique set of strength-based values that shape the organization. Once uncovered, these “superpowers” help guide your vision, energize your culture, differentiate your business, and attract customers that love you.


It’s a rainy Wednesday morning. You enter your office an hour before everyone else.

As you close the door behind you, you hear a voice from the corner of the room.

“I’ve been waiting for you.” The voice sounds sincere but serious.

Startled, you turn and face a man in a dark overcoat with a brimmed hat overshadowing his eyes, sitting in your upholstered chair.

“Excuse me?” you reply as you keep your hand firmly on the door handle in case you need to dart out of the room.

“The High Council requires the assistance of your enterprise,” he replies.

“Look,” you say, “You have the wrong person. I have to get to work. Can you please leave my office?”

“Yes, you most certainly have work to do,” he says. “Your company has many challenges ahead. Your employees need your help. Your customers do too. But to help them, you must first discover your organization’s untapped powers.”

Wondering how the man got through security or if you’re dreaming, you play along. “What powers are you referring to?”

“Individuals, on their own, have tremendous evolutionary potential. This potential often lays dormant. Organizations are made up of individuals with this potential. When this potential is harnessed, magic happens.

“The organization finds greater harmony with individuals working together as teams. Its customers are uplifted, forming a greater whole with the organization. Your business, then, serves a higher purpose.

“But to make this come about, you must first activate your superpowers,” he finishes.

Intrigued, you ask, “How do we do that?”

What are Superpowers?

Your business might not have super strength, telekinesis, levitation, or invisibility, but it has unique strengths it can capitalize on.

Superpowers are like super-charged ideals.

Internally, superpowers align your organization to a set of core values.

They attract talented people who rally around a set of values because they find them meaningful. These superpowers also fuel your efforts toward a compelling vision.

Externally, superpowers make you stand out from other businesses. Your superpowers act as a homing beacon, attracting a unique breed of customers that are inspired by what you represent.

When you celebrate and embody specific higher values, you elevate both your employees and your customers out of a mundane world while inspiring them to live these higher values. In this way, your superpowers make a meaningful contribution to society.

And yes, substantial growth and increased profitability follows.

Superpowers in Action

Southwest Airlines uses the superpower of love to create a unique organization that inspires both employees and customers alike in a relational way.

Zappos uses the superpower of happiness to create a desirable place to work and a joyful experience for their customers.

The Life is good Company uses the superpower of optimism to celebrate a quality of the good life that helps lift its customers out of pervasive negativity.

Apple uses the superpower of creativity to inspire its organization to push the aesthetic limits of technology while providing a platform for self-expression for its customers.

Under Armour uses the superpower of empowered athleticism to support both their employees and their customers in living an active lifestyle.

Superpowers are Powerful

Organizations have more than one superpower. In fact, your business probably has anywhere from three to ten, each of varying strength.

Each superpower can be activated in different ways, both within your organization and in your marketing efforts.

Applied creatively, intentionally, and consistently your superpowers can elevate your organization to the level of greatness.

Your organization can be a powerful force for good in your community and the world at large. As a major enterprise, you can use your superpowers to change the world. While this may sound grandiose, the businesses listed above, and many others like them, are doing just that.

If you’re looking for a big idea to inspire change in your business, this might very well be it.

Discover your Superpowers

Assemble your all-star team.

Identify the core values that define your organization.

Determine your organization’s greatest strengths. What are you the best in the world at?

Next, consider why your best customers love you? What higher needs do you help them actualize? What tensions do you help them resolve? Why do your customers relate to you more than your competitors?

Be patient with this process. Open up your imagination. Commit to uncovering your company’s superpowers that will lead your organization to a compelling future.


P.S. Life is good CEO Bert Jacobs and Cult Branding Company founder BJ Bueno shared how superpowers can help grow any business in their keynote address at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. Click here to watch this popular talk.

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