The 8 powers of process and what they reveal about the way you work

by Brandi Kulakowski

Ever wonder how the greats — Steve Jobs, Serena Williams, Miles Davis — got to G.O.A.T status? It wasn't from one successful idea, match, or jazzy tune, but from tying together the right set of processes to scale their initial effort into repeatable success.

We came to this realization after studying the working styles of more than 2,000 professionals in various roles across industries and around the globe — digging into how they interact with their teams, approach projects, and weave technology into the day to day.

What we found is that the power is in the process. Also, each of us possess different “process powers” and it’s only when the powers are combined into the right process that we see truly awe-inspiring campaigns and disruptive products come to life.

Read on to better understand the eight process powers, how your teammates' powers tie into the bigger picture, and how this all will help you amplify your ability to make the seemingly impossible possible.

And, if you haven’t had a chance, take the quiz to find out what your process power is.


Power of Communication

If teamwork makes the dream work, you’re the one that actually makes the team work.

Power of Communication

Oh captain, my captain! You are the glue that holds the organization together, the thread that weaves different work flows into a tapestry of process and progress. You’re the calm before, during, and after the storm, rallying the troops, making sure every voice is heard, and ensuring mole hills stay mole hills.

Your power in Emoji form: The Satellite Dish 📡

You are:

  • Approachable
  • Open-minded
  • Organized

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Leadership and Versatility

While you align the teams, they make sure you have people and processes to align with.

You may struggle with: Timelines

More often than not, you’re in the weeds, fielding comments, concerns, and competing voices at a subtask level, which means it’s easy for you to lose sight of the bigger picture.

How Smartsheet can help:

You’ve got your fingers in a lot of workstreams and what you accomplish makes your org tick. With that comes a lot of complexity and long-term initiatives. Stay on top of the complexity with a project timeline template that enables you to visualize when a task will be completed and by whom. 


Power of Connection

You are the organization’s breaker box.

Power of Connection

From people to teams, teams to projects, projects to clients, you keep everyone connected. Internal, external, it doesn’t matter. You make sure everyone has what they need to keep the ball rolling. While others may tremble at the sight of a group chat, you take it by the horns and steer that conversation straight towards productivity. You’re always looking out for ways to streamline connectivity, and you take pride in being the one to provide it.

Your power in Emoji form: The Power Plug 🔌

You are:

  • Diligent
  • Encouraging
  • Flexible

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Foresight and Resilience

While you streamline internal and external connectivity, they make sure the wheels keep turning, now and in the future.

You may struggle with: Technicalities

You are a people person, first and foremost. Your strength is in connecting the human to the resource, not in creating the resource itself, which makes some of the more technical aspects of a project challenging for you.

How Smartsheet can help:

Maximize your resourcing skill set while staying on top of the technical details with this project management template. It includes resource management capabilities and enables you to visualize who’s doing what in context with the work getting done.  


Power of Focus

Repeat after me: eyes on the prize.

Power of Focus

No time for distractions, when a project needs doing, you jump in, decide what needs to be done, who’s doing it, and the best way to get there. You’ve got a rare combination of focus and discipline. When a project crosses your desk, you dive straight in, sort it out, and then you’re on to the next. And the next. And the next. You leave no stone unturned, no target unhit. 

Your power in Emoji form: The Bullseye 🎯

You are:

  • Decisive
  • Efficient
  • Systematic

The ideal teammates: Powers of Connection and Versatility

While you’re leveraging your expertise on specific tasks, they’re coordinating the other pieces of the puzzle. 

You may struggle with: Multitasking

Juggling different aspects of one project is a piece of cake for you. But you prefer to give 100% of your attention to every project, which is why you may find yourself spread thin when you’ve got multiple projects on your plate at the same time.

How Smartsheet can help:

Stay on top of the details when managing multiple projects with the project and portfolio management solution in Smartsheet. Watch the short demo video to see how the solution can help ensure nothing slips through the cracks. 


Power of Foresight

Magic mirrors, 8-balls — they’re no match for you. 

Power of foresight

You’re always looking three steps ahead, focused on long-term outcomes and gaming the best way for you and your team to get there. The road to success is paved with the insights and answers that you provide, keeping everyone around you on top of their game from beginning to end. 

Your power in Emoji form: ​​The Crystal Ball 🔮

You are:

  • Proactive
  • Prepared
  • Motivated

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Focus and Resilience

While you’re looking ahead, they’re diving into the groundwork and getting things done.

Your challenge: Detail

Because you’ve got such a panoramic perspective of the project, you tend to overlook the finer details that add value to each individual task. 

How Smartsheet can help:

Continue to streamline projects and tackle complex programs without losing sight of the details with our Project Management Schedule template, that will help you to track the nitty-gritty in real time while also surfacing high-level overviews and metrics.


Power of Leadership

You create and people follow.

Power of Leadership

Your place is at the helm of the project — scanning, assessing, and breaking down every detail without breaking a sweat. Your team relies on you to take in the full breadth of the project and create the solutions that power the entire organization, delivering the gold and the glory every time. 

Your power in Emoji form: ​​ The Crown 👑

You are:

  • Dependable
  • Methodical 
  • Steadfast

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Communication and Velocity

While you set the foundation, they communicate it to the team and set achievable deadlines.

You may struggle with: Adaptation

Because you build the groundwork for the entire organization, you sometimes struggle to connect to the specific needs of individual teams.  

How Smartsheet can help:

Your ability to dive into complexity is your bread and butter. Utilizing the right resources to make it all happen is like adding a little sea salt to the mix. Take advantage of Resource Management in Smartsheet to stay in tune with the needs of your teams and easily operationalize workstreams by managing time spent on projects. 


Power of Resilience

Olympic weightlifters have nothing on you. 

Power of Resilience

You’re responsible for much of the heavy lifting, creating the core processes that keep the wheels turning across every team, day in, day out. Some may call it ‘repetitive,’ but you know that perfection is all about getting your ‘reps’ in. Leave the enzymes and protein powders to the also-rans. You don’t get guns like these without putting in the work, following the program, and delivering. 

You are:

  • Determined
  • Focused
  • Consistent

Your power in Emoji form: The Diamond 💎

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Connection and Velocity

While you’re doing the groundwork, they’re making sure everyone else has what they need to get things done on time. 

You may struggle with: Improvisation

You’re not a fan of ad hoc tasks or one-off requests because they interfere with your carefully regimented set of processes. 

How Smartsheet can help:

Looking to calm the barrage of one-off requests? Transform ad hoc tasks and requests into scalable processes with the Project Intake Template Set


Power of Velocity

Time is money — and no one understands that better than you. 

Power of Velocity

Every second of every minute of every hour is in your hands and you make sure it’s used to the fullest. Your heart doesn’t beat, it races. When it comes to process, you accelerate quickly, finishing fast and strong with every task you take on.

Your power in Emoji form:  The Rocket 🚀

You are:

  • Organized
  • Disciplined
  • Logical

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Foresight and Connection

While you set the timelines, they’re focused on getting everyone on track to achieve them, now and in the future.

You may struggle with: Flexibility

A deadline-based point of view can often block your ability to see the bigger picture, causing frustration when timelines need to be adjusted.

How Smartsheet can help:

With your lightning-like speed, we know that changes to the plan can make you feel bogged down. Stay ahead of changes with the Project Launch Plan template that enables you to create your project launch plan and track changes on a visual timeline.


Power of Versatility

If juggling was an Olympic sport, you’d win the gold every single time. 

Power of Versatility

The range of things you’re able to do is beyond the scope of anyone else on the team — tracking, assessing, and planning the best way forward, all while keeping priority and timelines in mind. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say there were multiple yous floating around the office, keeping tabs. But who needs clones when you’ve got some of the best tech out there to help you navigate each of your tasks. Automation? Integration? Coordination? Yes please! 

Your power in Emoji form: The Artist Palette  🎨

You are:

  • Organized
  • Level-headed
  • Reliable

Your ideal teammates: Powers of Leadership and Focus

While you manage competing workstreams, they help facilitate work at both an overall project and task-specific level.

You may struggle with: Precision

Because your work often takes you in different directions at the same time, your primary focus is getting things done. This makes precise, detail-oriented work difficult for you to fit into your schedule.

How Smartsheet can help:

With the sheer volume of projects you work on at any given time, you excel at navigating a slew of processes all at once. To stay efficient with your time, leverage workflow automation in Smartsheet to take care of the tedious, manual work so you can stay focused on keeping all the balls in the air.  

Now that you know more about what makes your teammates tick and the ways harnessing your own power can unlock your untapped potential, what other powers will you partner with to bring that big idea to life? No great idea comes to life reality without a series of steps, after all. Remember, it’s people building the right process which turn ideas into reality.  So just imagine what can happen when the powers combine. 


Haven’t taken the quiz yet? Discover which of the eight process powers you wield.