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by Randall Craig on May 19, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

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In many old movies, and particularly westerns, there is a scene where a tracker listens to the ground, and pronounces the enemy coming from “that” direction. Or they look at foot prints 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 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, they have value to others.

This last point is often forgotten, yet it can be the most important: it’s what wins the gold medal, closes the sale, or gets you that promotion. Yet even without these, your special ability improves your self-confidence, and provides an intrinsic satisfaction.

This week’s action item: 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.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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