Last weekend, I was introduced to a middle aged woman and the person introducing said, "I'd like you to meet Jeff Caliguire. He professionally coaches people on how to use their strengths."
"The woman said (with less than impressed look) "Oh, that's great. But you're not one of those people who believe that strengths are everything, are you?"
Then, I thought about her comment. She's got a valid concern!
It's this: With all the focus in the past decade on "Just Find Your Strengths" and "Obey Your Passion," there's the possibility to miss something really important. Though not quite as "sexy" as strengths training, knowing, compensating for or neutralizing your CONSTRAINTS in business, leadership and life may hold the key to breakthrough!
The shadow of your greatest strength often equals your greatest constraint. The two are related. Or another way to put it, when you over compensate by JUST focusing on your strengths - you (and/or your organization) may become imbalanced, one-sided or even hamstrung by your best ability.
Let me share some illustrations... (some of these further detailed in the book Fear Your Strengths by Robert F. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser)
You're a great visionary/strategist.... but you don't focus on the day-to-day details or operations or possibly financial or legal management. Result: they're hurting you and you're business is strapped.You're a forceful manager who gets things done... but you don't do much to coach and enable your people to succeed.
You're great at empathizing with your clients and others... but you don't close sales or ask them to pay their bills.
You're great at researching and getting all the possible options... but you don't settle on an option and make a final decision.
The power of versatility this empowers confidence... along with one key ingredient: calmness. The fruit can involve impact, income and the creation of a culture others love!
Yes, your strengths may be or become your biggest problem! BUT they don't have to. IF you identify and understand both your strengths and your constraints and lean into one, while compensating for the other, you may just find breakthrough is closer than you think!
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