Overextending Your Strengths - When a Strength Can Become a Weakness - #030


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Sometimes your strength overextended is your biggest weakness. There are a couple of ways that this issue can come up. I'll explore a couple of scenarios you should look out for.


It is Wednesday January 17th and I'm Josh Newton.

Welcome to the I'm Josh Newton Show where it is all about putting your potential into practice.

Today I want to talk about what happens when your strengths get over extended.

Anyone who's listen to almost any of my podcast episodes or has spent almost any time with me will know that I'm very big on focusing on your strengths and not focusing on your weaknesses. But one of the things that can happen is when your strengths get over extended they can actually become a weakness.

There are really two scenarios where this happens. One is in a group dynamic where you have a very strong leader or you have a strong project manager or really anybody who's putting a team together and instead of hiring it or putting together a balanced team and surrounding themselves with people who balance them out and have strengths and weaknesses even that don't overlap with theirs you start to get a team that's really kind of one note or one flavor of how a team should really operate. What happens in this type of scenario is you're either going to get something where a team is all gas pedal or is all brake pedal or that team is really just going to sit around and talk about ideas but they're not going to execute. So this is one of those situations, this is an example of a strength being overextended because there's just too much of one thing.

The other scenario where this plays out is when you have somebody who is self-aware to some degree so they're aware of their strengths or they actually don't know how to operate in any other way but focusing on their strengths but they're not self-aware to understand where that strength maybe starts to steamroll other people or when that strength isn't exactly what's needed in the situation. This can happen for very strong leaders who are extremely strategic, who have a very good handle on a project management, or they are actually just an intimidating person to some degree. When I say intimidating I don't necessarily mean in a bad way but maybe they're very smart, they have a really good track record, and they're very well-known and very well accepted as being the person who has the best ideas. One of the examples of this might be the leader who comes into a room and says, 'Hey here's the problem we have to solve and here's how I think we should solve it..." and instead of getting any feedback, instead of getting any push back that leader just has everybody agreeing with them and telling them, "yeah that's a great idea!" And it's really not because those people don't have any good ideas but it's because maybe that person's track record, that intimidating factor about that because of how smart they are, because of their education, or their background, or whatever it is, keeps those people from feeling like they have a voice in that situation. This is an example of something that this person isn't doing on purpose but it's their strength taking over and then not being aware of how that's affecting other people.

The way you can avoid this in both situations is to do exactly what I talked about in my last episode but not necessarily about your friends or at the people that you're attracting, but you need to audit yourself. You need to constantly be looking at the way your acting, the team you're putting together, the things that you're doing and say, "am I getting the right results?" "Am I affecting people in the right way?" And, "am I creating the right environment with the way I'm acting?"

There's been more than one occasion where I've worked with a leader or an owner of a company or an executive and it's really obvious that they have a lot of strengths and they have a lot of the things that they need to really get their job done but the results aren't quite lining up. And a lot of times what becomes really apparently based on some of the stories that they tell or the examples that they give, that this is the pattern that they have going on. They're not self-aware in one area which is how they're affecting other people, the environment that they're creating or the team that they're putting together. So sometimes this is a group dynamic situation, like I described in the first example, and sometimes this is a unawareness or lack of self-awareness in the way that one of your strengths can Steamroller other people and take over those situations.

So as you're on this journey of becoming self-aware one of the things I really want to encourage you to pay attention to is, what are the caveat what are the downsides and what are the things you need to be aware of and be careful of when you start to identify your strengths? identifying your strengths aren't an excuse to act a certain way with other people. Identifying your strengths isn't an excuse to hire more people like you. It's a way to keep yourself humble and understand where you add a lot of value and where other people add a lot of value.

As always I would love to hear from you guys. Where is an area where if your strength is not kept in check it can become a weakness?

If you're listening to this on Anchor, you can give me a call in or you can leave me a comment. If you're listening to this on social media or on the podcast you can reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram under I'm Josh Newton.


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