The Truth About You - Strengths vs. Weaknesses

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Initial post: Jul 23, 2009 3:56:28 PM PDT
I enjoyed Markus Buckingham's Truth About You. However, wondering if there are any insights to the concept of focusing on Strengths and Weaknesses only in your self evaluation process. Markus has a lot of writing under his belt and has sold many copies, but, if someone's strength is art, or at least if someone feels great after doing something artistic, how realistic is it for someone to focus on art or whatever their strength is if there is little chance of making a living at it.

What I mean here is lets say someone gets really jazzed about being artistic, they feel great about it, it would be a strength according to our author. However, they have relatively little appeal, and they work at it, and it bears no fruit.

I think what he says for instance about being part of a team is just spot on. Everyone on a team has a talent they bring to the table. Yet with sports, each team needs different skills to win games. In the past couple of decades businesses have downsized, rightsized and reengineered themselves where individuals in the work place multitask. So, they end up doing things they are both strong and weak at, just to get, keep and move up within a company or a selected career. How would strengths and weaknesses evaluation be played to here? What would someones strategy be to make sure that they play to their stregnths while minimizing the effects of their weaknesses?

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 11:15:09 AM PDT
A. Shihab says:
Buckingham (the author) makes the point of looking at a weakness from the viewpoint of a strength. If playing jazz empowers you, and yet the business of making a living out of playing jazz weakens you, then perhaps you should relocate to playing jazz in more prosperous cities, or seek partnerships in unorthodox ways to make a better living. This way, your strength is being deployed to neutralise your weakness.

Having said this: Alan Greenspan, former US Fed chief, changed careers early on in life from jazz musician to economist. At first, he dreamed of becoming an amazing jazz talent; but he met jazz musicians far better than him, and he doubted that he'd ever become the jazz genius he wanted to be. So, he went back to academia and numbers and economics, things that he was good at but had discarded.

Greenspan showed a lot of foresight there: he realised that continuing to be a jazz musician was going to sap his energy and frustrate him. He realised his strength was slowly turning into a weakness. He looked at another one of his strengths: maths, intellect, studies, and from that vantage point, being an ordinary jazz musician was not too bad. Indeed, it probably added a lot of cool to Greenspan's character as an economist.
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Initial post:  Jul 23, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 25, 2009

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The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success
The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success by Marcus Buckingham (Hardcover - September 30, 2008)
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