Use Those Superpowers!

Last weekend, the 9th class of Leadership Pittsburgh’s “Community Leadership Course for Veterans” (CLCV) opening weekend retreat was conducted high up in the Laurel Highlands near Pittsburgh. CLCV is a unique program for returning Afghani and Iraqi vets in that it is not about helping them find a job or readjust to their post-military life. Instead, the program uses their unique skills and experiences to engage them as community resources and leaders.

As I’ve done for all the classes, I had the privilege of speaking with these very cool young men and women about strengths-based leadership. Our dialogue is fast-paced, challenging, and insightful, and we all come away with new ideas and insights. Understanding our strengths is critical to resilience. We use our best capabilities to overcome adversities, and when challenged, our experiences typically win the day.

Participants completed the Strength Finders survey, my go-to assessment, and the most widely used assessment in the workplace today. The strengths approach is helpful because it focuses on behaviors and not personality. We can change, alter or modify our behaviors but personality is a different story.

Some of the findings for this group and the other CLCV groups are interesting and provoked great conversation. They are good strategic thinkers and use all the elements that build strategies, such as gathering and analyzing facts and stories and then creating a vision that drives mission and direction. They are also good at operational activities, or as one young marine told me, “we get shit done.” One of the more thought-provoking findings is that few of them demonstrate the strength of “discipline.” This group laughed about that result, sharing that the military is all about discipline until one of them pointed out that most of them joined the military because they recognized a need for more discipline in their lives.

Completing the Strength Finder assessment for yourself and your team provides an excellent opportunity to build insight, align the team and strengthen resilience.

If you are interested in exploring further, drop me a note, and we can discuss some ways to use your superpowers

© Richard Citrin 2022

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