The theory of overdone strengths

I recently wrote about a special mentor I had in my life when I discussed Robert Crosby and the one word that changed my life.

Bob had such an impact on my outlook on life and business. I recently was explaining one of his philosophies to a friend and thought this might be useful to you, too.

Bob once told me that there are no such things as personal weaknesses, only over-done strengths. If you think about this as I have, you come to realize it’s true.

  • If your strength is confidence, over-done this become arrogance.
  • Self-reliance over-done becomes stubbornness.
  • A person who cares too much for others may become a “pleaser” who loses their own sense of self if the strength is over-done.

This view of the world has been useful to me in several ways.

First, when somebody comes across as arrogant or stubborn, I recognize that there is an underlying strength there, too.

It also helps me put my own faults into perspective. For example, as the first-born of six kids, I was always taking care of babies and standing up for these younger, weaker humans. As I entered the workforce, I recognized this trait translating into my comfort with mentoring young people  — a helpful leadership trait. But over-done, I can be over-protective when I need to let people stand on their own.

How do you see this perspective play out in your own life? Do you have over-done strengths?

Mark Schaefer