10 Ways to Deal with Weaknesses in Others

Everyone is great at some things and lousy at others. Arrogant leaders compare the weaknesses of others to their strengths.

Don’t judge others by the way they compare to you.


When you evaluate others through the eyes of your strengths, they feel judged and you feel superior. You suggest they should be more like you. If you were God, that would be fine.

The job of leaders is maximizing the strengths of others, not building a team of mini-me’s.

The path to excellence always includes dealing with weaknesses.

10 ways to deal with weaknesses in others:

  1. Strengthen weaknesses when they become hindrances to strengths. Let go the rest.
  2. Clearly identify the path forward in behavioral terms. “You need to improve your time management,” doesn’t help.
  3. Provide models so they can see the behavior in action.
  4. Meet frequently to discuss progress, at least once a week. If a weaknesses is important enough to point out, then deal with it aggressively.
  5. Explore ways they can adopt the behaviors of others and remain authentic.
  6. Tie progress to their career goals. Improving a weakness is about what’s good for them. Don’t let it feel like punishment.
  7. Deal with the issue and move on. Don’t keep bringing it up.
  8. Accept that they may never be great at what they were weak at.
  9. Minimize the negative impact of their weakness by creating compensating-connections. I’ll never be as good at making lists as one of my friends. Rather than struggling to make lists, I just call him. It’s easy for him, but hard for me.
  10. Keep people in their sweetspot as much as possible.

Frustration with teammates who struggle with issues where you’re strong is intolerant arrogance.

Humility honors others, works to enable, models the way, and adjusts roles.

How do you deal with weaknesses in others?