Do you work on enhancing your strengths or weaknesses? The answer, depending on the circumstances, is probably both. If you are fairly good at golf but want to be a pro, then focusing on your strength would be a good thing. On the other hand, if fire-building is not your strength and you are lost in the woods, you might want to overcome that weakness…quickly.
It is important for leaders who want to achieve greater results to know when to focus on building strengths or remediating weaknesses. Assess yourself and your team to learn which skills are needed to achieve the desired results. Look at both the tangible skills and the human or soft skills. Who do you consider to be your best team member? Is there an expert in a specific field who doesn’t communicate well? A person with only adequate skills but amazing communication skills? Or someone who engages everyone on the team?
Strengths or Weaknesses?
- Does it matter if the skills aren’t as strong as long as the individual understands the concepts, the desired end result, and knows how to ask the right questions of others?
- Can you ignore a weakness – is it necessary to the success of the job?
- Is the person fairly new in the role and therefore still relatively unskilled? Is he/she able to develop?
- Can you outsource the skills when they are needed at a higher level?
- Is lack of skills a big impediment to success?
- How strong is the person’s desire to develop the specific skill?
- What are the important skills required for now and in the future?
- Are the human or soft skills a bigger influence on success?
- Have the roles and responsibilities been clearly defined?
- Do you believe the person is capable of changing?
Once these questions are answered you will have the information needed to determine if this person requires work on overcoming their weaknesses. Can we get them to a more acceptable level, or can we ignore those issues? Sometimes if the skills are adequate and the other strengths can be utilized to compensate this will work.
The results can be impressive if you turn a weakness into a strength or further leverage a strength. It takes focus, desire and a change in behaviour.