Over the last few sessions we have been talking about the foundation to personal leadership and effectively leading others. I’ve shared about What Most People Don’t Realize About Their Strengths, How Your Weaknesses Can Be A Powerful Leadership Tool, and The Single Greatest Predictor of Maturity.
Today I’m wrapping up this series on personal leadership with one final thought on strengths and weaknesses.
The Battle Within Your Strengths
Many of us don’t realize that there is a battle that is constantly going on within our strengths. The winner of this battle separates the great leaders from the merely good ones and determines whether or not you become the best version of yourself.
Who is the battle between? It’s between the blessings and curses of your strengths.
Most of us recognize the blessings or benefits that our strengths bring to the table. We can see glimpses of their significance and how they have a positive impact on the people around us. However, what we don’t realize is those same strengths have an inherent curse or weakness. Here’s the scary part: the more significant the strength, the more significant the curse can be.
I know this thought of your strength actually being a curse is something we don’t talk a lot about, so let me give you some examples.
Let’s look at the strength of planning or organization. Some blessings of these strengths are:
- These people think ahead and can see potential pitfalls or areas of failure before they happen
- They are very prepared
- They are also usually very efficient and can be counted on to get things done
But what happens when this strength swings too far on the pendulum to the extreme of planning or organization?
Here are some of the curses that could begin to creep in:
- These individuals come across too rigid
- They become known for their lack of flexibility (they may dismiss new ideas, be hard to work with, or even be hard to be friends with)
- They lack spontaneity and may come across boring or dull
What about the strength of wisdom, insight, or being a great teacher?
The blessings of this strength are:
- These people are known for giving really good advice
- They can help make sense of things going on in your life that you were not even aware of
However, if they do not keep this strength in check, the curses can be:
- They come across as a know-it-all because they always share their knowledge on any topic
- They constantly give unsolicited advice and start to annoy the people around them (as a result, those close to them stop seeking them out for advice)
- They consistently try to teach or explain to others instead of letting them discover things for themselves (effective teachers let and help others learn for themselves)
My hope is that you are starting to see how these curses can have a negative impact on your strengths and your ability to influence others.
Winning the Strengths Battle
I don’t think we will ever eliminate the weaknesses of our strengths. But I do think we can minimize those curses and get the most out of the benefits of our strengths.
There are four weapons or characteristics you will need to win this battle:
- Self-awareness: Self-awareness is our radar and will help us detect when that pendulum is moving too far to the extreme, making those curses more prevalent.
- Accountability: Accountability is our army or team. Those who hold us accountable will help protect us by pointing out our blindspots.
- Humility: Humility is our general or guide. It will help us to respond in a receptive manner to the intel we are receiving from our radar and army. Humility will give us proper perspective and accuracy on our current situation.
- Self-discipline: Self-discipline is our strategy. It will help us create a plan so that we can form habits that deter curses and promote the benefits of our strengths.
A few sessions ago I asked you to create a list of your top five strengths or natural abilities.
Today, go back and review that list to discover what potential curses could be within those strengths. Think through this: what if this strength was taken to the extreme? What weaknesses would exist in it?