In my last post I wrote that the lid on our potential is determined by us. One of the ways to raise the lid is to know our weaknesses and how to deal with them.
You have to know what they are. You also need to know your strengths.
There are many great resources and online sites to take a strengths assessment. Some of them include highlighting weaknesses and some do not. Here are three to consider:
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses you have some decisions to make starting with what to do about all this new information.
For this post, we will focus only on weaknesses.
Traditional wisdom and thinking suggests that you should begin to work to strengthen the areas in which you are weak. We have this idea that weakness is bad and is a problem that must be fixed. This isn’t always true.
Some weaknesses don’t matter. These are ones that are compensated for among other members of your team or staff. Some weaknesses don’t affect your ability to be effective at what you do. Some are personality related. Some are situational. An example would be a CEO who is great at vision and communication but weak with details and processes. That is fine as long as her team around her is strong in those areas. There is no need for a person in this scenario to try to become strong in that area.
Other weaknesses are in the middle ground and could be strengthened and enhance who you are and what you do. These are ones that are based primarily on knowledge, training, and experience. An example would be a manager who is weak in technology. He decides to take some classes and training on technology and it opens a whole new career path for him.
Then there are some weaknesses that are fatal flaws. These are character and integrity issues that will undermine your goals and purposes. These need to be addresses and soon. An example would be a student who is lazy and selfish. They look for shortcuts, cheat, and let others carry the load. They get away with it for a while, but it will eventually catch up with them and derail their life, whether in school or after.
The key for each of us is to know the difference. It is actually counter-productive to work on some weaknesses. We can’t be strong in every area. As we try, we actually can end up diminishing our strengths and wasting our time. That is why working with a team is so important. Each one can complement the other and a team can be balanced and strong overall. An individual will always have areas of unbalance and weakness. Fix the ones that are fatal flaws, consider the ones that might improve you or your effectiveness, leave the rest alone.