The Good News is 70% of Leaders Survive Their Weaknesses

You have a small bucket of remarkable strengths, a large bucket of average strengths, and a huge bucket of weaknesses.

The good news is 70% of leaders survive their weaknesses.

“30% of all the leaders we’ve studied have at least one fatal flaw.” Zenger and Folkman

The four laws of strength and weakness.

#1. Those who think they’re strong where they’re weak end up failing.

You might imagine you’re a great leader, but if you suck the life out of people, you’re failing.

#2. All strengths have corresponding weaknesses.

  1. Strong with details – weak with seeing the big picture.
  2. High empathy – avoid tough issues.
  3. Great with getting things done – low on patience.
  4. Strong people skills – weak organizational skills.
  5. Highly analytical – poor decision-maker.
  6. High technical ability – low emotional intelligence.

#3. The more remarkable you are in one area, the less remarkable you are in another.

Go ahead and think of yourself as remarkable in several areas. Just remember you suck just as bad.

#4. There are exceptions to the laws of strength and weakness, but you aren’t one.


4 ways to navigate weakness:

#1. Practice humility.

  1. Acknowledge weaknesses.
  2. Connect with strong people.
  3. Realize the people who irritate you may have strengths you need.
  4. Be curious about others more than you talk about yourself.

#2. Know and maximize your top strengths.

#3. Learn the practices of Emotional Intelligence.

  1. Notice your impact on others.
  2. Habitually seek feedback.
  3. Lean into criticism.
  4. Participate in a 360 degree assessment.

#4. Know and maximize the strengths of others.

Connie’s sarcasm made me laugh when she responded to something I wrote.

“Now, Dan, this is just cold… ‘But remember, you have two or three remarkable qualities. Everything else you have is average or below.’ Probably true about everyone AND me, but just ‘cold.’ LOL. Thanks for keeping me humble.”

(See comments on, The Biggest Danger in Leadership.)

How might leaders navigate their weaknesses?



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