Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
So, what do you pay more attention to; your strengths or weaknesses? The answer to this question may appear easy but it can actually be more complicated because it is relative to your skills, competencies and where you are in your career or on your entrepreneurial journey. Whilst there is logical and compelling evidence that proves our effectiveness is directly proportional to our strengths, it is important to put this in the right context. By doing so, we can better understand what to pay attention to and at what particular time.
Correcting weaknesses has always been fundamental in our childhood development and has somewhat become our cultural norm. As parents, we still encourage our children to work hard on improving areas they struggle with. Whilst some may argue that this is important, others may disagree. Many books have been published over the years about the value of focusing on our personal strengths by authors such as Peter Drucker, Marcus Buckingham and others.
So, how do we build our strengths?
When we begin our careers or embark on our entrepreneurial journeys, we should focus most of our energy, time and resources developing areas of strength, as we already excel in them. Not only should we focus more on these areas at this stage, but also on learning new things within those very same areas of strength in order to avoid stagnation and becoming too narrow.
At a personal level, communication has always been my strength and competitive advantage ever since I was in high school, because it came naturally. However, working as a radio DJ part-time enabled me to acquire technical skills and voice training that added tremendous value to my speaking career. Acquiring specialist writing skills, and especially being exposed to both the European and American standard of writing and styles, adds different dimensions to my profession. Studying Psychology and Coaching has also enabled me to understand human behavior, the structure of interpretation and the reason people are wired the way they are.
Spending some percentage of our time focusing on areas of weakness is necessary, as we can’t avoid this completely. By this I mean addressing those tasks we know we are not good at, and indeed even dread doing; in my own case it is admin. As business owners and leaders we need to assign or outsource such tasks to other people who are good at them. However, we still need to know and keep tabs on what goes on in these areas.
How do we address our weaknesses?
When the weakness is a major behavioral flaw that affects the team, clients and the business negatively, then it is time to address it. Many times we ignore such flaws because, in some cases, our focus is solely on the fact that we are great achievers or performers. However, such flaws eventually destroy businesses and overshadow your strengths if you do not correct them early enough. Addressing these weaknesses certainly requires commitment, time, resources and discipline; but it is worth it in the end.
Your effectiveness as a leader and an entrepreneur largely depends on your behavioral attributes, rather than on your actual technical expertise. In fact, the higher you go up the ladder, the more behavioral your challenges become.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
Read more articles by Tumi Frazier