#12: Don’t Only Build Your Strengths

Here’s nonsense at work with a trap to avoid if you want to land a job or get a promotion.

Some populist life-skills coaches promote the idea that you should build your strengths, while ignoring your weaknesses. They argue that you are employed and rewarded for your strengths, not to work on your weaknesses.

This is nonsense. And it is harmful.

If you build one or two strengths then you will be valued exactly for that and little else. Specialists are seldom credited as team players or leadership material, and we often fear them for the power their special strengths give them. And in a changing world, special strengths have a nasty tendency of becoming irrelevant.

Your strengths might make you a superstar for a while in one special area, but those same strengths might make you a dysfunctional manager, parent or spouse. Over time, we will value you more for being balanced and well-rounded.

Build your strengths, ignore your weaknesses, become dysfunctional.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.