They Say, “Minimize your Weaknesses…” I say, “Wrong! Maximize your strengths!”

“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). 

…They say, “Minimize your weaknesses…” I say, “Wrong! Maximize your strengths!” We all have weaknesses and strengths. Some of us are great communicators with a high degree of energy but possess a low tolerance for inefficiencies. Others are excellent in the art of managing people but are too rigid when treating others. A few are geniuses in the science of making money but sometimes can be heartless. Your goal is to get better at what you do best, not to bring your weaknesses from a D to a C grade. You won’t be a perfect employee because perfection is only achieved by God. Since you (and I) aren’t God, we can’t be perfect. You might as well be known for what you do best. Makes sense?

By the way, you can be outstanding in what you do, have weaknesses, and still have a successful career in 2017 — Celebrate! As long as you focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. Let me make something very clear for you. In the professional world, excellence is expected and required for maintaining long-term employment. There is no room for mediocrity. Attempting to minimize your weakness at the expense of shaping your biggest talents is a deadly strategic error as “B” and “C” employees are often the first ones to go, if ceteris paribus of course.

So, the million dollar questions then are — what is your biggest strength? What are you great at? Or better yet… what do others tell you you are great at? Finding the answers to these former questions can make or break your career. Salaries and positions come and go but your ability to perform at your very best stands and transcends organizations. You need to know the answers to these former questions. In my career, I have helped over 800 students to answer these former questions which is why they have gotten tremendous job offers after graduation ranging from being a media producer at the Chicago Bears to a leader at Lockheed Martin.

Let me be redundant but caring. Chances are high that others (not yourself) will find what you are truly great at. Listen carefully: Don’t dismiss what others say about you especially if they approach you with a caring voice. Their assessments are often right on. Put your pride to the side, humble yourself and do what needs to be done to be spectacular.

If your talent is public speaking, learn more about your craft, practice and practice more. Are you a great accountant? Innovate! Do what most accountants can’t do to near perfection quality. Is your talent computer science? My question for you is, “What are you doing to make your coding talent better everyday?” Combine your strengths with God’s will and you hit a home run!

Don’t be satisfied with being mediocre, as a former professor of mine used to tell us back when I was an undergraduate student, it’s how you act, react, do your work and interact with others. I say, “maximize your strengths!” You can do it.

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