November 21, 2012

Can You Fix Your Weaknesses?

Gallup's short answer is no. "There are no weaknesses, just overdone strengths."

This applies to your performance, not your character (which needs constant development).
Here are 3 reasons why:

The "Myth of Balance." You can't be good at everything. When you try to be a "jack of all trades, " you end up being a "master of none." Take pro athletes as an example. They stick to doing one thing really well and get compensated for it. Generalists don't get hired, specialists do.

Mediocrity. There are some things you'll never be good at. For me, I like to move at a fast pace, so I hate waiting for other people. I can try to be more patient in certain situations, but overall I'll always be somewhat impatient. It translates to my career because I want to take action. I'd rather delegate research and analysis to someone else because I hate it and also suck at it.

Overdone Strengths. There's a dark side to every personal strength.

If you're loyal, you can become blind to a fault. 

If you're analytical, it can paralyze you from taking action. 

If you're extroverted, you might talk too much. 

When you're potentially great at something, remember there are situations where you need to dial down the intensity. Your strengths can become a weakness if you're not self-aware of their implications.

This question comes down to focus. Would you rather work on developing your strengths or fixing your weaknesses? The choice is to: go towards (strengths) or away (weaknesses) from your desired target. Which will you choose?

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