Key #5: Endorse Your Greatest Weakness


Yes, that’s right: endorse your greatest weakness. While most people are constantly trying to either fix their weaknesses or focus on their strengths, it may seem an unfamiliar request to put your positive attention on your short-comings. But there’s a good reason for it.

When you fully accept the worst part of yourself, you’ll be able to completely orient around what is best about you. It’s a paradox.

Most of us try to fix what’s weak and we end up also hiding, denying and generally feeling bad about our weaknesses.

Worse, if we don’t even admit to a weakness, we may end up in situations where we’re forced to do things that we hate and are lousy at. Loving your work means doing what you love, not covering up your weaknesses or struggling to improve when there are easier ways to reach your goals.

Even more importantly, when you look closely at your biggest weaknesses, you’ll find behind them, lo and behold, your greatest strengths.

Some examples:

  • An IT manager who is extremely blunt (his biggest weakness), also has a passion for clear communication and getting things done efficiently.
  • A consultant who is naively lacking political savvy (her biggest weakness) is also extremely good at creating open environments where stakeholders can collaborate.
  • Finally, the person who introduced this concept to us, Thomas J. Leonard, was a multi-millionaire coach and internet business originator who turned his extreme over-sensitivity into his biggest strength. He first of all redesigned his life so that he wasn’t overwhelmed by his weakness, and then he used his super-sensitivity to get inspiration about what products and services would fill the needs that he sensed.


That story leads me to another reason to endorse your short-comings, so that you can do whatever it takes to handle them: change your role, delegate or otherwise manage your environment until you can be at your best.

Your biggest weakness is really a message about what’s greatest about you. Get real about who you are so that you can make the most of it.

Your exercise for today?

Of course, it is to write down your greatest weakness and then describe how that links to your greatest strength.


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