There is a debate in leadership circles as to which is the most beneficial investment of time: trying to improve a weakness or to maximize a strength. The last Gallup poll I saw showed that 57% of those asked felt that improving a weakness was the best use of time and energy. I disagree, and that's probably why I like the business author Marcus Buckingham. Not too long ago I finished his latest work Go Put Your Strengths to Work. I actually listened to the book, read by Marcus himself. I guess the publishers feel that his British accent will add to his credibility.
I don't listen to Marcus because he's British; I listen to him because I believe he's right.
This book came complete with a CD of forms and exercises to employ while reading, I found the forms pretty elementary and not very helpful, but Buckingham's reminders and practical examples only bolstered my already strong belief that we are better off building on a strength than improving a weakness.
Let's think about the world of sports. If you have an American football quarterback who can throw the football with accuracy, you don't really care how fast he is or whether he can block and tackle. You want him throwing and leading the team because those are his strengths. You want him spending time getting better at what he already does well. There may be other aspects of his game that he can spend some time on, getting a little less ineffective in those areas. For the most part, however, you want him building on his strength.
That is how we should think about the human resources in our businesses, schools and churches. That is also how you should direct your own life and time. Don't spend one minute more than you must on making your weakness less weak. Take the time you could employ in that exercise and use it to be even more effective at your strength. I think you'll be happier and the team you are a part of at work, home or ministry will be better off with you doing what you do best as often as possible.
Technorati Tags: Marcus Buckingham