Leadership expert John C. Maxwell notes that while it is possible to strengthen your weaknesses, they will never become one of your primary strengths. In other words, you can develop strengths into even greater strengths, but you can never develop a weakness into a greater strength. You can only develop a weakness into a greater weakness.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work on your weaknesses. It certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to learn new things and stretch yourself. However, fundamentally, enjoyment and expertise is the meeting place of peak personal effectiveness. The greatest value you can bring to the world is likely connected to these two areas; what you’re good at and what you like doing.
That’s why it’s important to think about building systems and teams as an entrepreneur. You shouldn’t try to do everything yourself, because that is a sure way to become a slave to your enterprise. Your work will become drudgery. Instead, look for people who are strong where you are not and hire them. Bring on people who love to do what you don’t. They really do exist.
Your weaknesses are someone else’s strengths. Perhaps you don’t enjoy bookkeeping or administration or customer service. Regardless of what it is, there is probably someone who would find great joy in the work. There are people who can manage those tasks more efficiently and effectively than you could ever hope to.
You don’t necessarily have to be the smartest, most skilled individual to run and manage a team. What you need is humility and the willingness to take an honest and objective self-inventory. Take various strength assessment tests and find out where you are most effective. When you have a better understanding of your strengths, shift your focus from tasks that you should do to tasks you want to do.
As an individual, you will have blind spots. It’s inevitable. You need to have people around you who can spot the potential problems with your vision and ideas, preferably before they reach the masses. You need a holistic view of your business plan, and you need the perspective of others in order to see the bigger picture. A good idea may never have the chance to be nurtured into an excellent idea without the feedback and support of others.
So, instead of seeing your weaknesses as weaknesses, begin to see them as someone else’s strengths. People are meant to work together. The best work often comes from a team of people with varying skills, expertise and knowledge. You don’t have to do it all yourself. You can rely on the strengths of others and what they bring to the table. It takes humility and an accurate self-image to do that.
What do you think? Are you trying to manage every task in your operation all by yourself? Would you find value in bringing on a team? Let me know in the comments!