The Folly of Broad Excellence

There are three important rules if you want to become more effective as a leader.

The first rule is that it is much easier to build on strengths than to compensate weaknesses. This is only natural, as we need far less energy to become twice as strong in areas where we are already strong than to try to become 10 percent stronger in areas where we are weak. The idea that you grow by compensating your weaknesses is a folly. If you spend a lifetime compensating your weaknesses, you end with a large set of strong weaknesses.

The second rule is that the more profound your abilities, the more profound your weaknesses. The reason is very simple. It takes a lot of time to develop massively strong skills. The popular thinking is that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master. Though this number is often disputed, the point remains the same. The time spent building strengths was not spent learning other things.

The third rule is that profound abilities and strengths will float to the surface when behaviors that mask strengths are eliminated. It’s not uncommon to read stories about individuals, in bad physical condition, who decide to get serious about health and end up running marathons. At the same time, they also started to exhibit great success in their chosen professions or careers. The behaviors that masked their strengths were eliminated so strengths could bloom.  

Successful leaders do not try to gain broad excellence. They achieve extraordinary success by making a conscious choice to spike their strengths. 

Which strengths do you have that can be developed to Olympian standards to stand apart like a giraffe surrounded by field mice?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter with high-performance techniques and receive a high-performance toolkit.