There is a difference between your weaknesses and your responsibilities. When people tell you to focus on your strengths and not spend time on your weaknesses, the word "weakness" means things for which you lack natural talent. This does not mean that you do not need to do anything about your responsibilities because ignoring them will hurt your results.
Play on your strengths
You can be excellent in conversations with customers, which allows you to be successful in sales. But you could be horrible in finance and accounting. Other people can be great with the numbers, discerning the basics with little more than a quick glance at a spreadsheet. These same people may be horrified at the thought of conducting a customer conversation.
You need to assess your strengths and weaknesses, trying to figure out where you should spend your time – and where you shouldn't.
If your skills suggest that your strengths are in sales, you will do this kind of work well. Your assessment may show that not only are you horrible in finance and accounting, but that you also despise work. Even if it wouldn't hurt you to understand a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet, there is no significant benefit in learning how to do accounting work.
Your strengths and weaknesses are essential to your long-term success and your satisfaction. Here it is important to note that this does not mean that you can ignore your responsibilities.
The passive is something different from a weakness. They are something that will make you struggle, fail and produce lower results than you are capable of generating. These are things that will harm you if you do nothing about them.
Suppose you are a seller who usually arrives late. As such, you are not preparing for any meeting, and because you are late, people believe that you are a dispersed brain who cannot be trusted to meet commitments. Your contacts also think that hiring you will end up being hampered by your performance.
Your inability to manage yourself is another kind of weakness. In this case, it is a liability.
You may be a leader with a team that has trouble meeting its commitments. You want them to trust and respect you, but you also want them to love you and like to work with you. To make sure these things are true, you avoid conflict, one of the root causes of your team's poor performance.
Your weakness here is a handicap because it destroys your ability to hold people accountable, and you feel like your team is walking on you. Leaving this responsibility unanswered harms your business, your customers and those under your responsibility.
Improving your results means eliminating your responsibilities, not your weaknesses in areas that are not at the heart of your role and responsibilities.
Go first. Growing up first.
Someone once said, "The speed of the team is the speed of the leader." Your employees and their results reflect your leadership. You want your team to grow and succeed, and they will become what you are as a leader. The rule of leadership is to lead, to start by setting an example.
Not only must you start first, but you must also grow first. Once you have identified your liabilities, you need to improve in this area until it is no longer a liability. There are many ways to work on your liabilities. You can get training, hire a coach, read four books on the area of your weakness, read enough blog posts to write a plan for your improvement, and take the time to practice.
By working on your personal growth, you can lead and inspire your team to grow, eliminating their responsibilities, improving their results and always getting closer to their full potential, a much better strategy than dealing with the responsibilities of the same way you would for a weakness.
While it is very likely that you can reach your full potential despite your weaknesses, it is unlikely that you will become the best version of yourself if you do nothing for your responsibilities. Your responsibilities can prevent success. The best personal development plan will allow you to improve your strengths, areas that you can always improve on, while eliminating the things you do – or don't do – that make achieving your goals more difficult.
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