Know Thy Self

The content this week contains thoughts on knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses.

The most successful leaders we have worked with are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and not resistant to relying on others to take on tasks that are not in their wheelhouse. They are also good at seeking the perspective of others whom they recognize as having a different point of view and, therefore, something valuable to offer.

For example, a current client has a unique technical expertise that makes him in demand in the market. He knows his strength is in conscientiously attacking a problem and working out a viable solution. He prefers to work alone and to take on one challenge at a time.

He’s an excellent technician but has little interest or practice in networking with potential clients or making sales calls to secure the next contract. He may be an exceptional partner with someone who is more people and sales oriented but on his own, he is likely to have trouble getting steady work.

The point is, of course: Alone this client has a small chance of thriving but, partnered with someone with complementary skills, the chances of thriving increase significantly.

This example has relevance for leaders at all levels of an organization because even though the details can vary, the fact that all of us have areas of strength and areas of weakness is invariable. The best leaders accept this fact and act accordingly.


“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu

“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” ― Erik Erikson

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