Don’t Neglect Weaknesses

Many people talk of focusing on improving strengths and not trying to improve your weaknesses. Peter Drucker is the person that sticks out in my mind as the most stringent supporter of this mentality.

It is true that it’s easier to make a competent performer an excellent performer, as opposed to making an incompetent performer competent. But, incompetency alone is not an indication of a weakness.

In fact, incompetency may exist for all the wrong reasons. And if you ignore areas that you classify as weaknesses, you may actually be forgoing what could be a strength.

I find this especially true in areas where I have strong negative feelings toward a subject.

For example, in High School I learned to hate writing because English classes were repetitive, forced and boring. I learned to associate those emotions with writing. As a result, for years I neglected development of writing skills. Now, writing has become a strength.

If I had simply classified writing as a weakness, because I didn’t feel competence in doing it, I would be missing an invaluable asset.

So, while I agree it’s much more productive to build upon strengths, don’t consider something a weakness without examining it first. Especially if you have strong negative feelings about the subject. And especially if the skill would be a complementary asset to your existing strengths.