The 7 Powers of Weakness
Don’t wait until you have it “all together” to lead. Arrogant leaders parade strengths. Successful leaders understand the power of weaknesses.
You’re untrustworthy and disqualified from leadership, if you don’t have weaknesses.
Authentic leaders are better because they accept weakness.
The seven powers of weakness:
- Weakness expands thinking. Weakness, when embraced, enables you to think broadly about yourself and others. What do you learn about your strengths from weaknesses? Strengths often stand in contrast to weaknesses.
- Weakness extends impact. Leaders who receive the most help have the most impact. Leaders who reject help, limit their potential.
- Weakness elevates others. Your weakness invites others to feel powerful. When you reject help, you tell others they don’t matter.
- Weakness creates opportunity. We serve out of weakness. The most powerful solutions you bring the world are the ones you’re finding for yourself.
- Weakness intensifies passion. You feel energy and ownership for the solutions that most help you.
- Weakness enlarges empathy. Those who embrace their own frailties, understand the frailties of others. The alternative is a hard heart. Those, for example, who grapple with cancer, feel empathy for others fighting cancer.
- Weakness reduces arrogance. Leaders who doesn’t see their weaknesses are arrogant jerks.
Bonus: Weaknesses are powerful points of connection with others.
Pretending you’re strong where you’re weak, limits potential, elevates stress, and hinders development.
Don’t make excuses based on weaknesses.
Successful leaders compensate for frailties while failures make excuses.
Don’t be less strong because you have weaknesses. Competencies create success. But, the path to successful leadership includes defining, embracing, and feeling the discomfort of weakness.
How might weaknesses make leaders better?
How might leaders deal with weaknesses?
Dan, Strong statement, but absolutely true. “You’re untrustworthy and disqualified from leadership, if you don’t have weaknesses.” Since we all have weaknesses, anyone who believes that they don’t is deceived and not worthy to lead others. In fact, I would say that if your leader doesn’t believe they have any weaknesses, you should run in the other direction.
Hi I think you’re post illustrates the important role that authenticity plays in leadership. People don’t want to follow models of perfection, rather they want to follow or engage with an individual that is authentic, flaws and all.
Hi after reading your post, I’m curious to find out what your thoughts are on strengths development and leadership. I think there is a fundamental link between the two as the more one is aware of and utilizes their core strengths, the more productive one can be.
Thanks for sharing. I love this positive take of embracing the parts of ourselves that we often don’t like. I needed to read this.
In counseling we call it the “one down” position when you don’t strive to be the power source, but to hear and let others lead. True strength is demonstrated by the person who doesn’t feel compelled to lead.
This is liberating, thank you for sharing.
From your post: “You’re untrustworthy and disqualified from leadership, if you don’t have weaknesses.”
Maybe better stated this way???
You’re untrustworthy and disqualified from leadership, if you don’t ADMIT YOU have weaknesses, COMMIT TO UNDERSTAND AND ADDRESS THEM, AND seek help in dealing with them.
Thanks John. Right. It’s not simply the having of weaknesses that qualifies us to lead. I enjoy your insights.
Great points. Your posts often open my mind, but this is one of my favorites. Even negative times, you can find positive opportunities.
Fully agree with you, Dan. My thoughts based on weaknesses is that there’s a thin line between embracing weaknesses and using it as an excuse to pure failure. We need to own up to our own failures to be taken seriously.
GREAT LEADERSHIP ADVICE! EMBARRASSING ONLY PERFECTION IS VERY EGOTISTICAL , ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PURPOSE CONTINUE’S TO EXCEL BY REQUEST.
PROJECT IDEA’S NEVER END UNTIL YOU STOP THINKING, PERFECTING IS ONLY ADDED ACCESSORIES TO NEW FOUND GROWTH.
WE NEVER PROFECT, UNLESS ALL POSSIBILITIES OF GROWING HAS END.
GREAT LEADER’S, NEVER END THE POSSIBILITIES WITHIN THE PURPOSE OF THEIR LEADERSHIP GROWTH.
THE EXPERIENCE RECEIVED BY TRYING THE NEW, IS THE TRUST PEOPLE ENGAGE THEMSELVES IN.
EMBRACING THEIR CHOOSEN LEADERSHIP, THERE’S A MUTUAL BENEFIT IN PLACE.
THEY’D LOVE TO HELP MASTER, ITS THERE LEADER &
THE BEGINNING OF OUR NEW SOLUTION. TRYING TOGETHER , WE REACH POINT OF VARIOUS WEAKNESSES, WHICH REVEALS OUR GROWTH POWER OPTIONS, CREATING THE BEST CABILITIES IN ORDER TO REACH AWESOME LEVELS OF SUCCESS. FIND NO WEAKNESS, FIND NO GROWTH.
I am a firm believer in surrounding myself with people who excel in my areas of weakness for two reasons. First, we create a stronger team. My colleagues and direct reports provide a different perspective, and we are able to accomplish more – especially when it comes to complex problem-solving or new situations. Secondly, I’m able to learn from these individuals as they do what they do best. Just through simple exposure of teaming with them helps me understand how they’re using their strengths (my lesser strengths) to overcome challenges, foster trust and respect, or get our team to the next level of performance.
My approach requires me to be transparent about my weaknesses which may not come easy or natural to others. I’m able to be honest about my limits, how I recognize them, and how I make sure they don’t also become my team’s limits. I ask the same thing of my team members: tell me where you want to go in your career, talk to me about your strengths, and feel comfortable with stating your limits/weaknesses.