Do You Neglect Your Strengths?

Most people throughout the world focus on weaknesses and neglect their strengths. I am here to tell you that focussing on weaknesses in the area of competency is wrong. You must focus on strengths.

Throughout the world in most industries, it has been embedded into people (us included) to focus on the areas that we are weakest in, when it comes to our competencies.

The idea is that if we focus on weaknesses, then we can try to improve those areas. However, while we are focussing on weakness, we are neglecting our strengths. We are not practicing them, so we are not fulfilling our competency potential in those areas of strength.

The same applies in business performance too. Businesses focus on the areas that they are not doing well in and try to improve those areas. By not focussing on the areas, they are doing well in, over time those areas will become weaker.

1. The Right Focus

Highly effective leaders want to fulfil their potential, so it is very important that they understand where to focus if they want to enhance their competencies. When I began focussing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses, I could feel a huge difference in my performance and so could others.

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Highly effective leaders value the highly effective leaders on their teams. One of the reasons is because they focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses. As you are working on yourself every day, it’s time you start focussing on your strengths in the area of competency.

You are strong in these areas because you don’t need a lot of effort to perform. However, your focus needs to be intense, not average. If you only give average focus, your strengths will remain average.

If you give intense focus, then you will become an excellent, highly effective leader. Highly effective leaders are looking for excellence, and that will be you when you start to focus.

When it comes to weaknesses, these are the areas where you do not have the natural ability to perform without a lot of effort. Everybody has weaknesses. If you focus on your weaknesses instead of your strengths, then you won’t become an excellent highly effective leader, and your team will not benefit.

You will improve in the area of weakness, but you will not be able to fulfil your full potential in your competencies. It doesn’t matter if you give intense focus to your weaknesses, at best you will become average, not excellent.

An average leader is appreciated, but they are not as valued as an excellent highly effective leader.

2. Character and Competency

When it comes to a highly effective leader’s character, they know that they need to focus on their weaknesses. Just like in the area of competency, they need to give intense focus on their weaknesses, not average focus.

A highly effective leader knows to work on their competency and character every day by focussing on both their strengths and weaknesses. That is how a highly effective leader becomes excellent and will become the most valuable leader they can be.

A highly effective leader realises that by improving their character in the area of weakness, and improving their competency in the area of strength is their secret to success.

As you are working on yourself every day to become an excellent highly effective leader, and work on being the most valuable person you can be, focussing on your strengths in the area of competency and your weaknesses in the area of character will be your secret to success too.

Your team will hold you in very high regard, and fellow leaders will value you to the highest level. The opportunities will also open to you very fast.

This website, my blog posts, videos, and my future materials have been put together to help you to improve and develop your character. To increase your influence and become a highly effective leader, character is where you must put the most focus.

Almost 90% of your results will be down to your character, not competency. You must not neglect your competency and work on your strengths to help develop them. Otherwise, you will not become the excellent highly effective leader that you are capable of being.

3. Working On Yourself

Your team deserves to have an excellent highly effective leader like you, so make it your responsibility to work on yourself every day to be just that. Your character will need to be as strong as possible if your team want to build a relationship with you.

Your character will need to be as strong as possible if your team want to be influenced by you, work with you, and accept you for who you are.

When you have built relationships with your team, and they want to be influenced by you, it will be your competency that turn your influence and relationships into actual results.

Character and competency go hand in hand. Your competency will enable you to implement your own, and the organisation’s vision. It is your competency that will enable you to contribute to your own and the organisation’s mission.

When character and competency are working together in harmony that is when you will gain trust from your team, your leader, and your organisation.

If your character and competency do not work in harmony and are of the highest level they can be in both areas, then you are on the path to becoming a low performing leader. Your team will not want to work with you, they will not be influenced by you, and they will not accept you.

I have worked with many people who have a very high level of competency, but their character was at a very low level. It doesn’t matter if you have a very high competency, with a low-level character, it will not work.

You probably know people in your organisation, or even on your team who have high competency, and low character. What do you think of them?

Let’s try and understand the reason why this happens so often, and why they are still a part of the team and the organisation.

On teams I have been part of in the past, there have been many people who had a low-level character, but we still worked with them. The reason we did was because there wasn’t anybody else to do the task they were doing.

They were good at the particular task, but their behaviour was unacceptable at times. However, we tolerated them almost out of necessity.

There was also more than one team member who had a low-level character, and they shared the same negative values. It was difficult for me because whenever I challenged one of them to improve their behaviour, they would team up against me.

I found that to be very hard because I wasn’t strong enough to keep challenging. I just accepted them for who they were, even though they were dragging the team down.

4. Challenging Low-Level Character

You will only ever see a highly effective leader working with a low performing team for one reason only. That reason is to turn the low performing team into a highly effective team. I have not seen this happen very often, because usually a highly effective leader will not work with a low performing team.

But the occasions I have seen this, it was an amazing experience. To change a team from a low performing team into a highly effective team takes a very high-level character, and competency working in harmony. There is only a highly effective leader who can pull this off.

It was during my time as engineering technical manager in 2018 working in London, that I witnessed a low performing team be transformed into a highly effective team. I appointed a guy called Terry to join one of my technical teams. Terry was a very experienced and competent person.

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But most importantly, he had a very high-level character. It was his character that made my decision for me. Anyway, I advised him to help turn the technical team around and improve their performance. Within the first week, Terry showed the team what success looked like.

He set his vision for the team and led the team from the front. After a month, the team’s performance had improved nearly double. Attendance went up, projects were being completed and on time, and every team member bought in to Terry’s vision.

I was so happy and excited that I wished I could have been part of that team and their journey. I helped them whenever they needed it, and it was a pleasure to lead them.

Terry is a highly effective leader. I learned a lot from him, and it makes me smile whenever I talk about him.

To become a highly effective leader, we don’t need more resources, we need more resourcefulness. We need to make the best of what we already have. Not wish for things and make excuses on the things we don’t have.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

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All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

12 thoughts on “Do You Neglect Your Strengths?

  1. Very interesting article on high and low character types of person. If you are dealing with low character persons who don’t care to work in a team, but are more introvert and prefere to work on their own, what happens then? Do you still try to change that person? Thx!

    1. Hi Lizzy,

      I appreciate that you found this an interesting article.

      With people who have a low character, as their leader it is your responsibility to help them. So, when you have a 1:1 with them, ask open questions and listen to understand them. When you understand where they’re coming from and why they behave the way they do, you can then figure out how to help them.

      When you do all you can to help the person, if they change their behaviours and deveop their own character then you have done a great job. If they do not, then all you can do is remove them from the team and do your best to replace them with somebody better.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. It is so important to focus on our strengths as we each have unique talents and abilities. Areas where we are not strong can be improved or even better the tasks delegated to someone with those interests and strengths. Much is to be gained from this information article. Best, Joseph

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Thank you for sharing your comment on my post.

      I couldn’t agree with you more that we must focus on our strengths and develop our weaknesses, rather than the other way around.

      Keep working on your strengths and helping your people to do the same.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Thanks for this informative blog post, Tom.

    It has really changed my perspective on leadership. It’s not about fixing our weaknesses, but rather playing to our strengths and developing our character.

    The story of Terry, the engineering technical manager, is a powerful example of how a leader with strong character and competency can transform a team.

    I highly recommend this blog post to anyone who wants to become a more effective leader.

    1. Hi Tim,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article.

      I am so pleased that your persepctive on leadership is growing after reading this, means the world.

      It would be great if you could share this article with your people and help them in their personal development and leadership too.

      Thank you again and all the best,

      Tom

  4. This article emphasizes the importance of focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses for personal and professional development. It highlights the impact on leadership effectiveness and team dynamics. Considering your experiences, have you found a specific strategy or approach that helped you balance attention to both strengths and weaknesses in your leadership journey?

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my article.

      I focus on my strengths and develop my weaknesses in the area of competency, and focus on my weaknesses and develop my strengths in the area of character. That is the attention we need to give to both.

      Keep working on both in the right areas and becoming the most valuable person you can be for yourself and for your people.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Oh yes! Wholeheartedly agree! Focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses has so many benefits.

    Not only in the workplace, but this works with children too. When you focus on a child’s strengths they blossom, they build up their confidence and it spills over into other areas of their life.

    I’ve found it works on partners too. It’s so easy for us to focus on what our spouse is not doing, or not getting right (in our eyes) and then totally miss or take for granted how amazing they are.

    I’ve been studying something called Access Consciousness for a few years and they have some brilliant questions around this topic:

    “What’s right about me I’m not getting?”
    “What if everything I thought was a wrongness in me was actually a strongness in me?”
    “What is the gift of me that I’m not acknowledging?”

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Thank you for your comment, means the world.

      I am not a parent but I have experience with children, being an uncle and having friends with children and I couldn’t agree more that parenhodd is exactly the same as leadership. It’s influencing them to be their best selves, aswell as being your best self.

      Keep up the great work in influencing your children.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. I always thought that the idea behind having a team is that each team member has a strength or level of competency that is desired.

    Each team member complements the others by plugging a hole or weakness in the team’s abilities.

    Weaknesses do need to be identified so that someone with the requisite skills can be brought on board to plug that gap.

    The team leader or manager is aware of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so that the right tasks can be assigned to the right people.

    If a company can afford the time for team members to get on-the-job training so that people can up their game where their weaknesses are concerned, all the better.

    That may be the theory but I’ve seldom seen it work out that way in real life.

    Usually, people are assigned to a team based on who is available rather than people with the right skillsets.

    And when deadlines inevitably slip and targets aren’t met, the team gets it in the neck because of the failure of upper management in not building the right team from the outset.

    The biggest weaknesses I’ve seen are in upper management basically being lousy managers and being promoted to positions they are either not qualified or suited for. And most never received any managerial training. They just had to wing it (badly for the most part).

    Corporate weakness like not providing proper training for managerial staff because they don’t want to spend the money or allow people the time to learn or they see equipment as assets rather than their employees is very hard to fix.

    There seems to be no strength to play to and no inclination to address the endemic weakness.

    Thoughts?

    1. Hi Gary,

      Thank you for sharing your detailed contribution and I’m glad that this article resonated with you.

      I hope the people reading this article can read your comment, learn from it and share what they learn with their own people. Obviously from your experience in leading and being part of teams you have a lot to offer us.

      Please keep that up and thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

      All the best,

      Tom

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