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Strengths vs Weaknesses

As I have been contemplating the rest of my life, I have re-focused on some things that had been in my mind. One idea, which I had already claimed as a ‘resolution’ for this year, was  to focus on my strengths and do the things that I love to do.

It turns out that is not as easy as it might sound.

I am getting some good help….Sometime ago, I read a book by Marcus Buckingham called “First Break all the Rules” which gave me a great perspective from the point of view of a corporation, of the value of having people focused on their strengths. I have purchased the follow on books in his series….Now, Discover your Strengths and Go put your Strengths to  Work ..I plan on working through them over the next little while.

I found (in one of those books) an interesting quotation from the late management guru Peter Drucker ” Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer”.

But I also had an interesting thought, which was impressed on me by a science fiction book by Brandon Sanderson called Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians. (Don’t be influenced too much by the fact that it is classified as Children’s fiction – it is still a fun read in a quirky sort of way).

In any case, the hero of the book discovers that the fact that he is constantly breaking things is not all bad – in fact, it is his “super power” – he can cause things to break that need to be broken.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot….We have probably all heard that “His greatest strength is also his greatest weakness”. What if, as suggested in Sanderson’s premise, “your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength”?

The ’so what’ to that thought, is that we may be more aware of our weaknesses than our strengths.

1) Our strengths make things seem easy so we don’t realize that they are a big deal.
2) People think we must be aware of our strengths, so they don’t bother to tell us.
3) We have too much fun when using our strengths so we feel guilty about indulging ourselves
4) People close to us will remind us of our weaknesses frequently (”You’re always ……”)

So, if we know of our weaknesses, perhaps there is a clue in there what our strengths are.
i.e. what are the positive twists of my weaknesses that I might be able to maximize?

e.g. A weakness might be “procrastination” …. the related strength might be “an inate ability to set aside those things that aren’t necessary in order to focus on those things that are”

A weakness might be “naive and easily duped”…. the related strength “an ability to demonstrate trust and confidence in people to build them up”

I’d be interested in your thoughts on additional weaknesses and their related strengths.  (And I won’t assume that it is your weaknesses that you are sharing :-) )