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by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Professional DevelopmentTagged as: , ,

In many old movies, and particularly westerns, there is a scene where the tracker listens to the ground, and pronounces the enemy coming from “that” direction. Or they look at footprints and pronounce that the person is two days ahead of them.  In more modern movies, everyone knows that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet. In each of these cases, the character had a special skill – an ability that everyone else relied upon.

Interestingly, the difference between the Tracker and Superman is significant: the tracker learned their skills, but Superman was born with them. Three key insights:

1) Not everyone is born a “Superman”, but all of us can become a tracker.  We can develop special skills with the right training, mentoring, and time.

2) Even Superman had a choice: he didn’t need to fight evil – he could have lived a quiet life as a news reporter. (Today, we would say that Superman lived up to his potential.)

3) Other people relied on the Tracker’s and Superman’s abilities. Whether you are born with special skills or work hard to develop them, you can have value to others.

This last point is often forgotten, yet it is the most important: it’s what wins the gold medal, closes the sale, or gets you that opportunity.  And your special ability improves your self-confidence, and provides an intrinsic satisfaction.


Do you have “Superman” skills in a special area, and are you using these skills to your full potential? Or are you a Tracker, working hard to develop your own special abilities? This week, schedule time to decide which you are, and do one thing that will help you develop – or exploit – your special skills.

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