The Strengths And Weaknesses Question

I continue to hear leaders in micro contexts like performance reviews and macro contexts like strategic planning calling for the industrial era model of focusing on "strengths and weaknesses."

It still applies to mechanical systems. And there continues to be no empirical evidence that focus on weaknesses adds value to any person's, team's or organization's success. Even the logic doesn't carry through: how much success happens because people engage their weaknesses?

What there is evidence for is that we do our best when we engage our strengths in ways that make our weaknesses irrelevant. A focus on weaknesses erodes the self-trust of courage, the passion of creativity and the beauty of connection. Contrary to industrial era and many religious superstitions, focus on strengths builds courage, creativity and connection.

This radically reconceptualizes how we approach performance reviews and strategic plans. And all for the best.