Build on Your Strengths

By: Henry Neils


Did you know that Babe Ruth was once a pitcher? At one point he made the deliberate decision to stop pitching so he could focus on batting. He took a lot of heat for his decision because he was a GOOD pitcher. He stuck with his decision though because he knew he had the motivation to be a GREAT batter.

Often the difference between being good and being great is making adjustments that allow you to spend more of your time developing your greatest strengths.

Ever had an annual performance review where the first part was about the wonderful things you did that year, but then the focus quickly shifted to a discussion about shoring up your weaknesses? It’s an all-too-common scenario. And it’s probably a waste of time.

The “fix your weaknesses” school believes that with enough discipline, determination and training, anyone can do anything. Unfortunately, it confuses weaknesses and limitations. Weaknesses reflect a lack of skill (how to do something) or knowledge (what you know). Weaknesses can be overcome by education, training, experience and practice. On the other hand, limitations reflect a lack of motivation (what you do well naturally). These really can’t be overcome, because new motivations can’t be acquired. In fact, if a person has low motivation in a particular area, spelling for example, there is very little likelihood that he or she will ever be a great speller. The best they will be is adequate. Who wants to be adequate?

It’s a much better idea to build on your strengths.

If you want to move up from being good to being great, know what your talents and motivations are, and build on them. Why? Because you will develop what you do best and enjoy most. These are your strengths, and they are yours for life. You can build on them, and they won't let you down. Think about it: what would your life be like if you got paid to do what you do best and truly enjoy? Awesome, isn’t it?

© 2004. All rights reserved.

“Henry Neils is President and Founder of Assessment.com, the leading online career assessment company focused on helping employees and employers work together for their mutual benefit. Millions of people have gained personal insight into their careers by using the tools, such as MAPP™ (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential), provided at Assessment.com.”.