Strengths vs. Weaknesses

I recently took a personality test, which got me thinking about my strengths and weaknesses.

Now I won’t go into my strengths and weaknesses because that is not the point of this story. The question to think about is your growth. To grow, you need to be tuned into both.

You need to know what characteristics will carry you forward and which might hold you back. You need to be self-aware of them in every given situation. If you’re not, you will only be able to grow so far.

My thought pattern is to be aware of my weaknesses but hone in on my strengths. Rarely in life have I seen someone’s weakness become a strength. It’s complicated, time-consuming, and, quite frankly, part of our DNA. Embrace it; we all have flaws.

Focus your time on improving your strengths but question yourself along the way to make sure you don’t hold yourself back.

Here is a scenario.

One of my strengths is organizational structure, but I’m hesitant to share ideas if I don’t have facts to back them up (IE: I want to be right before I present).

So in this scenario, I always push myself to present what I’m thinking even if, in my head, I feel unprepared. When I do this, the outcome is always better. I’ve already put more thought into the problem than others, and the gaps I left open allow others to contribute early and often to get the best possible result.

This way, I get to show my strengths while pushing myself into an uncomfortable situation. It doesn’t always work, but the more you focus on moving past your weaknesses, the less they can hold you back.

In leadership, I have once put a lot of effort into trying to help people turn their weaknesses into strengths. At best, I got them to a marginal status with a ton of work.

This pattern is a waste of time. Help people recognize their weaknesses and how they can coincide with their strengths to get the most out of them. By focusing on fine-tuning their strengths and pushing them out of their comfort zone, you will see progress.

They will still have weaknesses, and so will you, but once you are aware of them and give them their space, your growth is unstoppable.

So, in conclusion, we tend to focus on what we can improve, how I push this person further than they are today, and how I strengthen their weaknesses.

Focus on fine-tuning their strengths and making them self-aware of patterns that could hurt their growth, and you will start to see the results you want to see.

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Jeff Johns

Husband, father of three, engineering leader, planner, organizer, runner, and music lover.