Our speaker for the day was Adam Mendler, a student of leadership, having done over 500 interviews with successful entrepreneurs and other leaders in learning his craft. He currently teaches a graduate course in leadership at UCLA, runs a podcast, “30-Minute Mentors,” and is hard to miss on social media and the internet. He says the main thing he learned from his interviews is that these successful people had found their “superpower” and developed and relied on it to succeed. He distinguished this power from skills, which anyone can learn and improve upon. Your superpower on the other hand helps you develop skills and excel at them.
He has decided that his own superpower is that he meets people and befriends them easily. Confident of this, he was able to cold call or get referrals to hundreds of successful and busy people. He said this also made it easy to graduate #1 in his class at USC and be the student body president. His believes being liked by his professors also helped him in getting “A’s” in their classes as they were happy to mentor him. That’s not to say one doesn’t need to work at things but, recognizing your superpower and using it to your advantage helps make your work easier.
He spoke about Kobe Bryant and how he spent years trying to emulate James Worthy’s signature move to the rim, even though Kobe was already a star and had won championships. Kobe was a lifetime learner when it came to basketball which was his superpower (learning), not playing basketball (although he was pretty super at that).
Another superpower was being able as CEO, to break down a complex problem into simple details to explain it. Another was to make everyone on a movie set feel good every day. In other words, your superpower is inside of you, and it is what makes you feel good about yourself that you share with others.
Adam wound up his program by giving us some tips to success from his interviews. To become an entrepreneur, getting started is 50% of the journey (some wisdom there), feedback is very important, good and bad and push your comfort zone.
I admire his effort and skill at interviewing, but I did not feel superpower was well-defined, measurable, or tested experimentally. Perhaps I need to attend one of his classes at UCLA to get a better understanding.
Shout out to PP Michael Newman for leading the meeting, Jim Crane for leading the pledge, and PP Ed Gauld for singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” wearing an indescribable hat.
Thank you to Marsha Day and Arnold (PP Steve Day’s friend) for being WVRC’s special guests.