7 Dangers of Weakness and Why You Undervalue Your Strength

The illusion of competence is deadly to successful leadership.

Experience, success, position, and power give you the deadly illusion that you are good at nearly everything. But you’re exceptional only at one or two things and average at many.

Overconfidence in small doses is useful. It enables you to stretch yourself.

Overconfidence – in large doses – is deadly.


It takes humility to acknowledge that you suck at many things and excel at a few

It takes humility to acknowledge that you suck at many things and excel at a few.

Stop doing things you’re not good at.

7 dangers of weakness:

  1. Performance below your potential.
  2. Frustration. Imagine the frustration of a cat trying to become a great barker.
  3. Self-criticism. You beat yourself down.
  4. Loss of respect. You lose credibility. This is especially true for anyone who thinks they’re talented when they aren’t.
  5. Missed opportunities to bring maximum value.
  6. Discouragement.
  7. Excuse-making that lowers people’s confidence in you.

Remarkable success is built on strengths.

Undervalued strength:

Value your strength even though doing it is easy for you.

It’s difficult for you to appreciate the value of a skill that comes easy or naturally. You might say, “Oh, creating that plan was nothing,” if you’re a skilled organizer.

But your skill is remarkable to someone who works hard to think beyond their plan for lunch.

I’m exceptional at asking questions. I still work at my strength. I read books about curiosity and coaching. I constantly evaluate the questions I ask clients. I’m always looking for a new question.

Sometimes people call me to help them generate a list of questions. What’s easy for me is valuable to others.

Not everyone needs an exceptional question asker. But some do.

The intersection of someone’s need and your strength is your place of greatest value.

Know and avoid your weaknesses. Find ways to leverage your strengths.

How might organizations become more realistic about strengths and weaknesses?

How might people protect and maximize their strengths?