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. And most important: You can’t build on weakness.

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?

You can’t build on weakness

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!

So my question to all the people who are reading my blog is: What about your personal strengths?

And my second question is: What are the strengths of your company or your organization?

Further reading

Peter Drucker and The Effective Executive

Gedanken zur effektiven Strategieentwicklung

Alleinstellung…oder was macht den Unterschied?

Strategie des Managements komplexer Systeme

Schumpeter, schöpferische Zerstörung und die BBC

Phillip Blond über die EU und den Euro

Unternehmensberatung in Klagenfurt, Kärnten

Was ist erfolgreiche Unternehmensführung?