Category: Fear Your Strengths

What’s Lost in Finding Your Strengths

There has been a strengths movement sweeping this country. Just recently Bob led a webinar with the Center for Creative Leadership. About 60 percent of the audience of senior HR and Learning & Development executives was familiar with the book Now, Discover Your Strengths and its self-diagnostic tool, the StrengthsFinder. The central idea of the strengths movement is that it’s wrong to focus on trying to fix an executive’s weakness because greatness comes only from building on natural talent. Strengths advocates promote this very worthy idea  to stop obsessing about your weaknesses because you’re never going to be great at those …

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Fear Your Strengths in The Economist

Posted July 19th, 2013 in Executive Development, Fear Your Strengths

We’re honored to be featured in the Schumpeter column “Too much of a good thing” in the June 8, 2013 edition, imploring leaders to beware of their strengths. You can read it here.

To Become A Better Leader, You Have to Raise Your Mental Game

Posted July 16th, 2013 in Be a Better Leader, Fear Your Strengths

If you are serious about becoming a more effective leader, you can’t just work on your behavior. You also have to work on your mindset. However in our experience, most executive clients don’t know what subterranean forces impede their effectiveness.  One of the most debilitating forces—anxiety—can trigger a dysfunctional tendency to control too much. Certainly, control has its uses. Even at its most inclusive and enabling, leadership is essentially about influencing others. But dysfunctional control—gratuitous intrusions into other people’s space where little is gained and much is lost—is counterproductive and disabling. You know these leaders. They fill their own space and yours too. They …

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Can You Overdo People Skills?

In our leadership development work and research on overplayed strengths, people sometimes object to the idea that every strength can be taken too far. For instance, an academic journal editor once held up publication of a research article stating flatly that “it is impossible for a leader to be too supportive, caring, and loyal.” Did that journal editor have a point? Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest American Presidents and one of our personal favorite leaders, offers a fascinating example. Like many leaders with strong people skills, Lincoln’s tremendous gift put him at risk for struggling with tough calls about his …

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