At a recent meeting of the Spiral Dynamics Integral group, Mike Tomaino gave a presentation on his book How To Be A Superhero, relating sections of the book to developmental stages described in Spiral Dynamics.
(You can see videos of the Spiral Dynamics Integral meetings on YouTube. Spiral Dynamics is a theory created by Clare Graves and later extended by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan. Ken Wilber includes Spiral Dynamics in his Integral Theory.)
How To Be A Superhero is an illustrated book geared toward kids ages 8 through 12. According to Mike, “the book combines my 10+ years working with kids and positive psychology to help readers find their real life superpowers, train their bodies and minds, and go off into the world as a superhero.”
In this short video Mike relates some of his experiences as a teacher and his motivation for writing the book:
How To Be A Superhero Book Trailer on YouTube
After Mike’s presentation, we broke into small groups and discussed our superpowers and how we can use them.
One of my superpowers is leadership. Although I have experience in traditional leadership roles — serving my church as president, teaching classes and facilitating meetings — my view of leadership is broader than that.
I think of leadership as making things go well. From this perspective, anyone can be a leader at any time. It doesn’t require a title or role. A person can identify a problem and resolve it themselves, organize a group to address it, or let others know about the problem.
Another superpower I have is perspective. I’ve been in meetings where people misunderstand each other; perhaps they agree but are using different terms to describe the topic. Sometimes I can ask a question which reveals this difference and allows increased understanding.
More recently I’ve become more comfortable talking with people with various world views. Although I may disagree, I look for truths in what they’re saying, and try to see what is compelling about their point of view.