You can’t build on weakness

As a management consultant, one of the first questions I ask entrepreneurs, managers and executives is: „What are your strengths?“ Real success in business can only result from building on them.

Job applicants and strategic management

I also use this essential question in interviews with job applicants. The answer is often little more than „babble“ – or the counter question: „Surely you also want to know about my weaknesses?“

No, I don’t want to know about your weaknesses! I want to know what your strengths are! And not only young job applicants „babble“ – even entrepreneurs, managers and executives do so when I ask this question at the very beginning of a strategic management consulting process.

I ask myself: is this a problem specific to Austrian culture, that we don’t like to talk about our strengths or that we are not aware of them? In the United States everyone tells you that he is the best even if it is not true. I don’t want us to become more American but why do we prefer to talk about our weakness rather than our strengths?

One question for you as a manager

As a manager you should focus on the latter. Time is money and you can’t reliably predict the future. So why not work out what you are good at?

You can’t build on weakness!