As an entrepreneur, it is critical that you know yourself well, how you act in situations, your strengths and weaknesses. This self-assessment will show you where you can play to your strengths, and bring in others to fill your weaknesses. The next question becomes, how do you define a strength and how do you define a weakness?
Marcus Buckingham, a best selling author and business consultant, defines strengths and weaknesses by the emotions that they evoke. Paraphrasing, he states:
“A strength is something that makes you feel stronger after you complete the task. It energizes you. A weakness, on the other hand, is something that physically drains you- in other words, you may very well be good at a particular task or skill, yet when you complete it, it leaves you more tired than when you started.”
Marcus goes on to say that you must drop those weaknesses, and focus on your strengths. I agree with the definitions that Marcus has described. And although a weakness could be something that physically and mentally drains you, it may also be something that has not been fully developed within you. Therefore, as you consciously focus to develop a particular skill, you may find that it starts to become a strength.You may realize that the identified weakness has been holding you back, but as you develop and strengthen it, you find that new opportunities come to light.
Think about your company and the people who work for you. What are their strengths and weaknesses? According to Buckingham, once the strengths and weaknesses have been identified, each individual should play to their strengths, which ideally, are different from others, and therefore compliment the teams, thus creating a strong unit acting as one.
Now, take it one step further. Each individual identifies both their strengths and weaknesses and then focus on their strengths in the work place. On their own time, they choose one or two weaknesses which they feel they can further develop and turn into a strength.This, over time, will allow the team to evolve as new strengths are added to each individual, making the whole team stronger.
The important thing is not that you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, but that you continuously adapt, evolve, and improve upon them. It is also critical that you leverage your strengths to be successful. As companies retool and rebuild themselves through this tough economy, it the strengths of the individuals that will help direct the company in a new direction. If everyone can get on the same page, knowing each others strengths, then the company can better position itself for success not only during an economic downturn, but during the good times as well.