SDS 168: Focus on Your Strengths and Ignore Your Weaknesses

SDS 168: Focus on Your Strengths and Ignore Your Weaknesses

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff!’ but will ignoring the weaknesses really help us in our career?

In this FiveMinuteFriday episode, we discuss how we could improve our performance through harnessing our strengths and, believe it or not, by ignoring our weaknesses.

‘Focus on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses.’  This was an advice from Giam Swiegers, former CEO of Deloitte Australia, which was quite unique and might be considered absurd by others. But this stayed with me for quite a long time which got me really thinking about how we should manage strengths and weakness. It is possible that when we do this, we are able to propel our career forward. We can become the top players in the field. So where do we start?

No need to sulk on things you’re not good at. Even superheroes have their weaknesses. This is not to say to completely ignore the weaknesses. You don’t have to forget about them. You just have to be aware that they exist. Acknowledgment should be the first step. This could give you the drive to give your best in improving your strengths. By ignoring, you’re able to give more time and effort to a sure thing. You’re investing in a thing you’re more passionate and excited about.

We can’t be oblivious if your performance is being affected. For example, in a workplace that needs something that you’re lacking, find a way how you could magnify your strengths to help you manage your weaknesses. Most of us are not really good with our communication skills. Start looking for people who could compliment your weaknesses. You might help them with their weaknesses and vice versa. In this way, you make use of your limited resources. If you’re around your colleagues most of the time, observe and listen to them.

Taking this advice might be difficult. But this teaches us to accept ourselves as who we are. If we start concentrating on developing our strengths, the growth would become exponential. In the first place, there’s assurance that you’ve invested your time and effort to a greater opportunity. You could or triple your strengths then make use of it to manage your weaknesses.

Are you ready to take this advice?

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Full Podcast Transcript

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Hey guys. Kirill here and this is Five Minute Friday. Hope you had a great week and today we're going to talk about strengths and weaknesses.

So, once when I just joined Deloitte, we had a cash app where basically we had this meet up where all of the new graduates who joined Deloitte would go to Melbourne and would spend two days there or three days where we would meet up with some of the executives and they would tell us about the vision of the company and what it's all about and what we're basically getting into, and there we got to hear form the CEO of Deloitte who at the time was Geeham [Sweeters 00:00:50]. This is Deloitte Australia and Geeham Sweeters, originally from South Africa, he was the CEO, and it was a very interesting tour.

One thing really resonated with me and I'd like to share it with you today. The thing that he said was, it was towards the end of his talk, and he was saying "Alright, so how do you become successful? So how did you become one of the top players, top people in your profession, top consultants, data scientists, whatever it is, how do you become ultra successful?" And what he said was very interesting because of how controversial it is.

You know how sometimes we say, alright so strengths, it's important to harness your strengths, understand what they are and develop them further, and also at the same time, weaknesses, you got to work on them. They're not good. You've got to improve your weaknesses so you don't have weaknesses basically.

Well, what he said is actually a saying that I have repeated to many people since then and I also have repeated to myself many times as well and he said, "Focus on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses." How interesting is that, that you basically shouldn't waste time tying to improve your weaknesses and becoming good all around, becoming a professional or an expert in all the different things or all different skills, even. You should understand what your strengths are and really bet on your strengths, really improve them, really make them grow and get the most out of those strengths and that way, you will get ahead in those areas where you do have strengths and in the areas where you have weaknesses, there you can find people that compliment you as part of the team you're in, or if you're building your own business, as people that are going to be surrounding you, or maybe you could get advisors, you could get consultants, you could maybe read some advice on a specific topic on how to fix that situation.

His advice was don't waste time on your weaknesses, when you have your strengths tat could propel you forward much, much faster, because they're already your strengths and give that they're your strengths, they're probably something you are passionate about, probably something that you enjoy doing, so that's my tip for you today.

It's really helped me a lot in life and really helped me get to where I am and achieve great things and maybe achieve quite a lot of things that I have achieved in life, and so I always look back at this tip or very often, I look back at this tip so have a think about that, maybe this weekend.

What are your strengths and what are some your weaknesses that you recognize and, of course, there might be some weaknesses that you definitely need to think about. Maybe it's communication skills are something like that, that are a hurdle, but what are some of those weaknesses that you can totally ignore and still become successful? That's a very interesting question to think about.

Alright. I hope you have a great weekend and focus on your strengths. Ignore your weaknesses as my great mentor Geeham [Sweaters 00:04:06] told me one time. And on that note, I look forward to seeing you back here next time.

Kirill Eremenko
Kirill Eremenko

I’m a Data Scientist and Entrepreneur. I also teach Data Science Online and host the SDS podcast where I interview some of the most inspiring Data Scientists from all around the world. I am passionate about bringing Data Science and Analytics to the world!

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