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What’s Your Superpower?

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What would happen if you let go of fear, got off the sidelines, and jumped boldly into the game of life? Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, unpacked the vital question in a moving, motivating and empowering talk during an ALTA SPRINGBOARD Ideas Festival.

Sun explored why it’s vital to push past your potential, how to transform an idea into a movement and why you’ve got to bet on yourself every single day. She encouraged the virtual attendees to harness their “superpower” and use gravitas to advance personally and professionally.

After spending 11 years at McKinsey & Company, Sun took some time off, travelled around the world and spent time with her parents in Taiwan.

“The last two weeks of time off, my mom goes, ‘Home is nice, but you can’t live here,” Sun said. “My mom encouraged me to bet on myself and start a business.”

The origin of Sun’s company started with her first professional review while at McKinsey & Company. Sun was told she “comes across as young and overly enthusiastic at times,” that she “lacked gravitas” and “should go buy a new dress, big jewelry and great shoes.” With those words in mind, an understanding of the transformative power of clothing, and a determination to create a game-changing company, Sun filed for a global patent to build shapewear directly into dresses. She launched GRAVITAS as a “confidence company” that offers innovative apparel and styling solutions designed to makeover women from the inside-out.

“Remind yourself every day that you’re capable,” she said. “When I founded GRAVITAS out of my one-bedroom, I believed I could provide confidence to others.”

For Sun, fashion is about letting go and embracing strength. She shared a story about a woman working at GRAVITAS’ call center who was going through a divorce. Her son was graduating from high school and she needed a dress. Sun ended up going to D.C. to help the employee find a dress.

“The dressing room is an analogy for our life,” Sun said. “Every woman sets themselves up to fail even before getting a dressing room. We are focused on the negatives. We need to focus on what we want to accomplish and focus on what we like.”

To help make the connection, Sun asked SPRINGBOARD attendees to think about their superpower—not what they’re good at, but best at.

“Why do we care about superpowers?” Sun asked. “Because when hard times hit, that’s what you draw upon. Superpowers are the bedrock as we pivot and move forward with purpose.

“Document your superpowers and your team’s superpowers. That will give you insight in why you succeeded the past year or highlight where you struggled.”


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