In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “There are three things that are extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
I would argue that knowing yourself can be the hardest of the three.
As a leader, it is vital that I understand who I am.
When I try to do things I am not gifted to do, I end up frustrating the people around me. I can give you names and phone numbers of people who will verify this fact.
But when I stick to the two or three areas where things come naturally and I have developed my skills, I am able to contribute to the lives of others. Sometimes, even at a high level.
The challenge is to be honest with myself. Truthfully, I tend to overestimate my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. Therein lies the challenge of the Franklin quote.
You are no different. All leaders face the temptation to overestimate their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
I say resist!
Keep working on discovering who you really are and then design a life around your strengths.
You will be a better leader, and trust me, a lot more likable.
What is your #1 strength?
repost from 8.23.11