How the Failure to Recognize Strengths Affects Executive Performance

Not fully recognizing one’s strengths, far from being a mere curiosity about managerial high achievers, is actually at the root of many performance problems. Not appreciating that they are already strong in a certain area—not knowing their own strength, as it were—managers tend to overuse it or they tend to overinvest in developing it.

This link between performance problems and managers’ relation to their strengths is critical. One senior manager, understanding this connection, said about the top person in his company, “If he internalized his strengths, a lot of his weaknesses would go away. It’s because he doesn’t accept his strengths that these weaknesses exist.” Seeing that ...

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