Let’s face it –there are high expectations in our society regarding our performance, professionalism, output and activities. It seems I’m supposed to be a high-output, multi-tasking entrepreneurial networker, who’s up-to-date on the latest advances in technology and trends in my sector, while also managing my many relationships and arriving at meetings on time. Whew!
But the reality is that I don’t do everything equally well. And it seems the harshest judge of my abilities or missing abilities, is the judge in my head. I want to do everything well, but I’m not ‘good’ at everything. We humans are miraculous beings with amazing capabilities. But the phrase “I’m only human” also applies, referring to the humbleness that comes from having, and admitting….can I say it?…….limitations. Yes, even weaknesses!
Like the flip side of a coin, or the Ying to the Yang, I have weaknesses that work in tandem with my strengths. My ability to retain and focus on details is also a weakness when I lose sight of the big picture. My entrepreneurial ability to see opportunities and create business ideas can also result in a fragmented business as I try to tackle too many projects at once. I also have weaknesses that stand on their own like my lack of artistic drawing skills or my inability to do complex math calculations.
In his book titled Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham makes the bold assertion that we should stop worrying about and focusing so much on our weaknesses. Instead he contends that we should spend our efforts and energy building on our strengths. Sure, some weaknesses can be overcome through learning or practice. But Buckingham asks the question, why spend all our energy identifying , thinking about, and working on our weak points, when we can experience far greater and faster results building on our natural gifts and strengths?
Imagine living day to day immersed in personal and work activities that play to your strengths rather than those that highlight your weaknesses. That idea is enough for me to start a Strengths Plan – a list of my greatest strengths and a plan to use and develop them more and more each day. If you need help with this and other career related challenges, call my office to learn how we can help.
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