Saturday, May 19, 2012

Your Strengths Are Your Weaknesses

Those things that we do well can also be our greatest liabilities. Like a double-edged sword, a strength is also a weakness. The greater the strength, the greater the potential weakness and liability. Consider that....

  • Physical strength can limit your flexibility
  • Determination can become stubbornness
  • Confidence can become arrogance
  • Discipline can make you narrow-minded
  • Analytical thinking can lead to over-thinking
  • Focus can close you off to new opportunities
  • Enthusiasm can make you act without thinking
  • Spontaneity can lead to undisciplined action
  • Meticulousness may become perfectionism
  • Resolve can lead to ruthlessness
  • Passion can become zeal and obsession
The list goes on...there is a counterbalance to everything. What personal traits are you most proud of? To what do these traits leave you vulnerable?


  1. Christopher,
    I would have to go with focus, because I would focus so much on the electronics part of the job, that I missed most of the politics and backstabbing that got the founder of the place I use to work at thrown out of his own company. Well maybe that was a good thing, but just imagine after fifty years of building your company from the ground up, and one day the police are at the door to keep you from entering your own building. Always keep more than fifty percent of your company.
    I believe that half the fight is recognizing a weakness. Once you realize it, you can work on it, or look for someone to work with you. Someone that will offset your strengths and weaknesses. This is something that leaders have to be aware of when building a team. Many leaders tend to form teams with people that see things the same way that they see things or have the same strengths that they have. In business I believe diversity in a team is key. For example, would Steve Jobs have able to create Apple if he didn't have Woz on his team? Steve was driven and serious, while Woz was more lighthearted. Woz could bring Steve's vision into reality and Steve had the ability to see the potential in thing that Woz could not. Separately I believe they would not have been successful, but together they made one of the most successful companies in the world. Also could you imagine a team of Steve Jobs?
    Working on your weaknesses is another way to overcome them. I was never the best at analog design, but I was rather good at digital. After landing a job at a power supply company I had to work on my analog theory. After a few years I became “good” at both. This made me a great asset to our design team because I was not focused on one thing. The digital engineers would say the problem was an analog design problem and the analog designers would say it was a software problem, etc. I was able to see that the most elegant solution was sometimes a combination of all three disciplines.
    Having experts in all these disciplines and my ability to work in many of them allowed our team to design a product that is still selling strong after twelve years. Our team was great but our leader was also. Personally, I believe his bosses were trying to punish him by giving him a group of misfits, but he was able to see the strengths and weaknesses of each individual and form a very strong team.
    Now, I am not a leader, nor do I want to be. I read about leadership to give me a leaders perspective, and for those occasional times when it was necessary for me to lead a group. If my boss was out for a long period of time, I would take over and run our group, but I would always gladly hand the reins back to him when he returned. Knowledge about leadership gives me a balanced view just as I believe a great leader needs to have knowledge of his followers.
    I need to balance my time in front of the computer with some physical activity before it turns a strength to a weakness. That reminds me, that leaders need to also inspire his workers to get physical if they are in a mental based job, and to get mental stimulation if they are in a physical job. Ok, now I'm just rambling.


  2. Hi Wall,
    Thank you for the feedback.
    I can tell that you spend time developing yourself, which I believe is a key to long life and general happiness. Keep going!