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.

 

Want to know what previous students have said in response to Key #5?

Procrastination!

Easy – procrastination! That's got to be my biggest weakness, especially for tasks that do not exactly excite me, such as completing RFPs, writing proposals, developing balance scorecards and giving performance reviews. I usually try to embark on one of these tasks and find myself drifting into other things, such as cleaning out my closet, helping a colleague set up a training room, review a channel partner's pipeline report .. and sometimes in this process though I find myself thinking about the task that I've put off, and a lightbulb goes off and I start looking at it from a different angle, and when I do finally sit down to finish the task, it's a lot better thought out document than it would have been if I had completed it the first time I tried to do it.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:14:59+08:00

E-course Alum

Easy – procrastination! That's got to be my biggest weakness, especially for tasks that do not exactly excite me, such as completing RFPs, writing proposals, developing balance scorecards and giving performance reviews. I usually try to embark on one of these tasks and find myself drifting into other things, such as cleaning out my closet, helping a colleague set up a training room, review a channel partner's pipeline report .. and sometimes in this process though I find myself thinking about the task that I've put off, and a lightbulb goes off and I start looking at it from a different angle, and when I do finally sit down to finish the task, it's a lot better thought out document than it would have been if I had completed it the first time I tried to do it.

I Get Too Excited

I have a few “greatest weaknesses”! Extreme enthusiasm for things that I am interested in makes me want to put all my time into something, be overextended and other things suffer – I get too excited and then I get over-tired and therefore depressed.

This can be a plus as I tend to do good work when excited, and make other people get excited about sb. as well, which can be good for encouraging people do things etc. (I think that this has helped me in WiPS as president as I have loads of good comments about my job.) Get OTT angry when people are late – However, this means that I always (or nearly always) get things done on time – it's a trust thing and means that I am generally always reliable. This is a good business strategy and people remember you if they need a job done.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:16:22+08:00

E-course Alum

I have a few “greatest weaknesses”! Extreme enthusiasm for things that I am interested in makes me want to put all my time into something, be overextended and other things suffer – I get too excited and then I get over-tired and therefore depressed. This can be a plus as I tend to do good work when excited, and make other people get excited about sb. as well, which can be good for encouraging people do things etc. (I think that this has helped me in WiPS as president as I have loads of good comments about my job.) Get OTT angry when people are late – However, this means that I always (or nearly always) get things done on time – it's a trust thing and means that I am generally always reliable. This is a good business strategy and people remember you if they need a job done.

Indecisiveness is my Biggest Weakness

My indecisiveness is my biggest weakness. It means that I'm slow in my decision making and that I tend to hang onto things for too long. But it does mean that I'm careful and plan before I make a decision and look at all the possibilities to make sure I've made the right one. I still see this weakness as a huge hindrance though because I get frustrated I can't quick decisions!

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:18:15+08:00

E-course Alum

My indecisiveness is my biggest weakness. It means that I'm slow in my decision making and that I tend to hang onto things for too long. But it does mean that I'm careful and plan before I make a decision and look at all the possibilities to make sure I've made the right one. I still see this weakness as a huge hindrance though because I get frustrated I can't quick decisions!

Keeping Relationships

Endorse your greatest weakness. What a paradox . . .. but what a powerful concept too!!! I have been procrastinating about this for some days . . . thus my weakness? Or is it? I love deadlines because I know what I am capable of doing in a pressurized environment and can always deliver quality on-time! However, it does up the ante a bit but gives me such an adrenalin rush . .. . and we all love those!!! I guess if I am totally true . .. . I don’t keep relationships, personal or professional. .. at least not for any considerable period of time . .. which means networking is always a game and I usually start at square one. Usually looking for something deeper . . . so start planning earlier and be sincere . . .

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:20:15+08:00

E-course Alum

Endorse your greatest weakness. What a paradox . . .. but what a powerful concept too!!! I have been procrastinating about this for some days . . . thus my weakness? Or is it? I love deadlines because I know what I am capable of doing in a pressurized environment and can always deliver quality on-time! However, it does up the ante a bit but gives me such an adrenalin rush . .. . and we all love those!!! I guess if I am totally true . .. . I don’t keep relationships, personal or professional. .. at least not for any considerable period of time . .. which means networking is always a game and I usually start at square one. Usually looking for something deeper . . . so start planning earlier and be sincere . . .

I am not Calm Enough

I am not calm enough…although I look calm and people always commented that it is one of my strengths, at heart I know I am too nervous at times, spend too much time on every details and refuse to let go. I am too result-orientated, without realizing enough that no matter how hard I try there will definitely be occasions in life that are out of my control and failure is inevitable…

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:21:42+08:00

E-course Alum

I am not calm enough…although I look calm and people always commented that it is one of my strengths, at heart I know I am too nervous at times, spend too much time on every details and refuse to let go. I am too result-orientated, without realizing enough that no matter how hard I try there will definitely be occasions in life that are out of my control and failure is inevitable…

Wanting to be Liked

Wanting to be liked / try to keep the peace – I can’t always please everyone, but I end up compromising my objectives to keep people happy. Looking at this as a strength? – good at facilitating agreement.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:22:52+08:00

E-course Alum

Wanting to be liked / try to keep the peace – I can’t always please everyone, but I end up compromising my objectives to keep people happy. Looking at this as a strength? – good at facilitating agreement.
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