Developing your strengths and managing your weaknesses.
About 6 years ago I was returning from attending the Global Leadership Summit in Chicago. I had a brief visit with my wife’s two brothers and their families in Raleigh, North Carolina. While waiting to catch a plane for my long trip home I began to think about a new season that was coming my way.
My last daughter had finished high school and was going off to University and Christine (my wife) and I were going to be experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome. This held the promise of a great new future, but it also posed some threats.
I began to think about this new future and in particular the impact it would have on our marriage. I knew that the kids occupied a lot of space in our lives and with all of them out the house, we would have a whole lot more time together. My determination was to make our good marriage into a great marriage.
As I reflected on our marriage, I was amazed at how that over the years, it has consistently been the same things that have brought us joy and the same things that have caused conflict. You would think that after 28 years of marriage the areas of conflict would be resolved for once and for all!
This is where a talk from Marcus Buckingham at the GLS impacted me. This talk could help our marriage go from good to great.
In the business world and in life, we are often told that we must try to improve and work on the things that we are weak in. The advice goes: “Figure out what you are not good at doing and then make a plan to improve in it”. Marcus Buckingham is convinced that, that is not the best way to do things.
He said we should rather come to the realization that if we are weak in something, there is strong likelihood that we will always be weak in that thing. I have found that to be true in my life and marriage. He suggests that we should rather learn to manage our weakness.
In fact the complete version is, develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses. I love this concept. Things that fire you up and have given you satisfaction or that you have had success in, work on them. Give energy to them and let them continue to be your engines of growth and fulfillment.
Take the things that have pulled you down or hindered your progress and figure out ways to manage them. Manage them so that their influence on your progress is limited. Remember, there is always going to be something that interferes with progress and growth.
I am starting to do consultation work with churches, individuals and eventually business. Before I begin any work, I ask the organization to figure out where their momentum or their strengths lie and where their weakness are. But before we talk about managing weaknesses, I take time to get us going on what is working and focusing on their strengths! This immediately gives energy to any possible changes and improvements that may need to be done in order to increase effectiveness.
Sounds a bit like the old S.W.O.T analysis. Yup, but with a bit more zing to it!
Remember the axiom, “develop your strengths, and manage your weaknesses”