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Jul 1
Do Your Strengths Make You A Weakling?

Each term in my Intro to Management course, I begin the term by asking students to tell me about the worst managers they ever worked for. This term I noticed that the ones mentioned ran the gamut from being incompetent to being a “know it all.” Students also talked about managers who were totally disconnected to their staff and some that were horrendous micromanagers. I also heard about those who were overly friendly to the staff and extremely harsh on them. To sum it all up, I think it’s fair to say that the reason these managers were bad, was not because of their weaknesses, but because of their strengths.

That doesn’t make sense does it? Actually it does. In fact, let me tell you that your strength maximized becomes a weakness. 

Take an inventory of your strongest traits. Are you punctual? Detail-oriented? A great communicator? Do you spend time getting to know your staff on a personal level? Do you show great care and concern? Are you great at focusing on the “bottom line?” On making sure you’re organization runs efficiently? Can you make tough decisions when nobody else seems to have the courage to do so?

Those are all great traits for a manager to have aren’t’ they? Absolutely – but not ALL the time in EVERY situation. If all you do is work to be punctual, you may be intolerant of those who show up late. If you’re a great communicator, you may not be the best listener. If all you do is deal with staff on a personal level, you might not be able to push them hard when you need to. If you’re detail-oriented all the time, perhaps you’ll struggle with those who can’t seem to focus on the “small picture” like you do.

If you take a look at the greatest leaders in history, you’ll find that they all learned to relate to others on THEIR LEVEL. In other words, they understood their personal strengths but also knew the power of understanding the strengths of others.

Your strength maximized is your greatest weakness. Think about that the next time you’re managing or leading something. In fact, if you call yourself a leader and turn around only to find nobody following, there could be a problem. Learn to build NEW strengths to complement the ones you already have. Take the time to recognize the strengths of others too. It’s one of your biggest responsibilities.

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1 Comments/Trackbacks




Hi,
This is my third startup and I am fascinated with the role that leadership has in making sure a startup thrives, or makes it?
I was trained at the USAFA in Colorado and I think those leadership life lessons have helped me more than almost any business or entreprenuer type training i have had.

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