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Don’t Waste Time on Weaknesses

Have you ever been instructed to strengthen your weaknesses?  It may sound like a good idea, but I wouldn’t bother.  Your time would be better spent strengthening your strengths and working around your weaknesses.  Ignore them completely, if at all possible.  Let’s take a look at sports and coaching.  Sports is the all-American microcosm of just about anything we’d care to write about.  Since so much time, money and emotion is all wrapped up in sports, let’s take advantage of it and make a useful example of it.  (Can you tell I’m a little weary at this point of every evening ending with a sports report, and in my house, it usually has something to do with how well the Braves played)

Let’s suppose that the high school football team has a player who is really kind of small for the sport —  he’s not only short, but he’s kind of scrawny compared to some of the bigger hefty fellows out there.  BUT, he has really quick hands, and he runs like the wind.  What do you think the coach is going to do?  Tell him to eat more, fatten himself up, and hope he grows another few inches — maybe send him to the gym to workout and beef up that way?  No, absolutely not.  If he has any sense at all, he’ll put him in the defensive backfield where his speed, stamina and agility will be a welcome asset.  In fact, my guess is that the coach will assign him the job of working on running even faster, while telling the bigger stronger players to get bigger and stronger.  I can remember watching so many basketball games over the years and wondering why in the world the coach didn’t do SOMETHING about Shaquille O’Neal’s horrible performance at the free-throw line.  It has become more apparent than ever that he’s never going to be good at it.  But, as everyone knows, he does possess some strengths.  And I think his coach is just encouraging him to strengthen his strengths rather than beating him up over the free-throw thing.  Do you see the logic in this?

So, what does this mean to us?  How shall we apply this to our own lives, both personal and business?  How could this make a difference in your parenting, if you have children in your care?  These are good questions, and I don’t have all the answers, but I’m thinking about this a lot in my own life.  I have some incredible strengths, and some really obvious weaknesses.  I’m choosing to work on the strengths and just work around my weaknesses.  I think I’ve mentioned before than my organization skills are seriously lacking.  I like to say that I’m chaotically organized.  I’m almost 60 years old, and I don’t see it changing on this side of eternity.  I have learned some skills to help me with the work-around.  I try to make it fun.  But, when I really have fun is when I’m operating in my passion, my talents and my strengths.  I’m going to always choose to spend most of my time there – not working on weaknesses.

There are some skills that are necessary, whether I consider them strengths, and I always do my best to find a way to learn the essentials, even if I will never excel.  Speaking of excel, that’s a good example.  Microsoft Excel does not come easily to me, and I will never be a guru with it.  But, I did take a few courses that taught me enough of the basics that I can use it without phoning a friend.

  • Do you recognize your weaknesses? Your strengths?
  • Have you labored under the thought that you should spend time shoring up those weaknesses?
  • Would it be a relief to you to know you can put down that idea and just get better at what you’re already good at?

Business Training Team has some fantastic courses that will make learning some of these essentials as easy as possible for you, even though these subjects may not be your strengths.  Check it out, you might find something to help you.

I’d really like to hear from you on this subject.