I’m on a small Mexican island reflecting on the Super Bowl in the midst of Mardi Gras on Chinese New Year.
Which of course got me thinking about strengths – the Denver Broncos defense – and weaknesses – the Denver Broncos offense. And the much talked about issue: should we focus on exploiting our strengths or shoring up our weaknesses?
The established answer – we should shore up our weaknesses – has come under siege in recent years. Marcus Buckingham and others have argued that to be successful we should focus instead on our unique strengths. It’s an empowering thought.
But what if our weaknesses are liabilities holding us back from success? Think of the leader whose temper outbursts lead to employee turnover. Or the entrepreneur who can’t scale her business because she won’t let go. Or the football team that commits too many turnovers.
Back to the original question: Should we focus on strengths or weaknesses? Answer: Whatever is most relevant to help you succeed. Which could mean focusing on unique strengths and/or critical weaknesses.