Andre wished he could be like a leader he worked with in the early part of his career. This was a charismatic leader he admired who could inspire and motivate people around him. He gave rousing presentations and knew how to work the room. Andre noticed people would walk over hot coals for this leader. He often wished he could be more like his role model, instead of being introverted and awkward around people. He dwelt on trying to fix his weaknesses rather than focusing on developing his strength.
I’m sure many of us can relate to Andre. We can talk for hours about our weaknesses and sometimes have little or no idea about our strengths. As part of his leadership development coaching program, Andre interviewed people about how they perceived his strengths. He discovered they viewed him as someone they could count on to produce results. Whilst this made him an outstanding individual contributor, it would not translate to the challenges he faced as a leader. But his new awareness of his superpower allowed him to pivot his can-do strength to teaching others how to get things done.
Recognising his strength also meant he did not have to be all things to all people. He surrounded himself with people who could offset his weaknesses, knowing that together they made a powerful combination. Leadership research firm Zenger Folkman has consistently found that people who develop their strengths produce the best results. They believe leaders become more effective if they first enhance their strengths, rather than work on their weaknesses, as is often suggested.
Andre was relieved when he came to realise he did not need to turn himself inside out to step into an image of what he thought a leader should be. It gave him greater confidence to be himself and allowed him the freedom to be the leader he always knew he could be.
🙋 What is your experience of developing your strength instead of working on your weaknesses? 🙋♀️
Best regards, Brian