Skill Mapping: Define Strengths and Weaknesses (Step 5)

“Its not your strengths people talk about over a beer.” — Author’s Observation

Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779): Mengs, Helios als Personifikation des Mittages.
Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779): Mengs, Helios als Personifikation des Mittages. Most of us, have no idea what our strengths are, let alone our weaknesses. This image symbolizes some very special skills needed to be an angel.Together, using skill-based theory and smart practice can get you to the top.

 

Playing to your strengths makes sense in certain career fields. If you make your living as a drummer, singer or a football linebacker, getting really good at drumming, singing and football makes sense. An artist can focus exclusively on their art, making a god given talent even stronger. So if you plan on having the same work role the rest of your life, stay with existing strengths.

But if you see yourself as someone who doesn’t want to forever have the same job or as a person who wants to move up the ladder responsibility, better work on those weaknesses.

Many dream about owning a business, but most lack the skills to succeed (assuming they have both aptitude and motivation). By definition, entrepreneurs are unfinished works. When they start the business, they rarely have the skills needed to succeed. Most venture capitalists fail to understand this, continually to plow billions into ventures doomed to fail.

So if key entrepreneurial skills stay undeveloped, these personal limitations constrain the growth of their organizations; and can destroy the very venture they are trying to nurture. Unlike CEO’s, entrepreneurs lack a cast of hundreds to off load work to.

To cite one example, many early stage entrepreneurs suffer from the delusion that, “ I don’t have to sell to succeed.” And it is true that if you have a business model where you don’t have to interact with people (yes, there are some). Many would be entrepreneurs flat out refuse to improve the interpersonal communication skills and leadership communication skills needed to sell. Surely a flaw, maybe even a fatal flaw.

So once one has parsed character, traits and skills into strengths and weaknesses, it’s onto the final step—execution.

Leadership Skill Development