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Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses, Awareness is the Key to Change

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Strengths and Weaknesses. We all have them. To some extent they are in-born to your personality type but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. I use the Peoplemap System to help identify clients’ strengths and weaknesses (AKA Achilles heels), and use it as a personal development platform for future growth.

I propose that our Achilles heels are often a result of the extreme of our strengths. Case in point: developing relationships is really important to me, and some of my strengths include being personal, compassionate, and encouraging of others. I enjoy giving praise, mentoring, and seeing others grow. I like to build a personal relationship, even in professional settings. To an extreme, I can be overly dependent on being accepted or praised by others- I’m too sensitive and can take things personally.

Another strength is being positive, some would call me a PollyAnna (a character in an old children’s movie who professed to find the good in everyone and everything). “You’re such a Pollyanna” can also be a criticism, because if I’m always looking at or for the good, maybe I’m not being critical enough or demanding better from myself and others. I let myself and others off the hook too easily- also known as not being accountable (which is tough when you’ve got specific goals to reach).

Another type of weakness is to lack a certain skill, such as assertiveness, initiative, and persistence. I used to be terrible at being assertive, speaking up for myself or others when I sensed that it could cause conflict. I, like many people I know, avoid conflict. As I said, I’ve gotten better at it. I sense the fear and do it anyway (usually!). When have you wanted to say something but didn’t? What repercussions has it had in your life? My experience is that it usually prolongs the inevitable and causes pain or confusion rather than clarity and authentic communication.

I was giving a Peoplemap workshop in a small company that was owned and mostly run by women who had developed a culture of conflict avoidance at work. (Some admitted to being like that at home too). On the surface, they all got along, but behind doors, they judged and criticized how some staffers did things. The owner was a good leader in many ways, but even she avoided conflict. The employees were able to give many examples of how avoiding conflict was harming the company- inter-personally among the staff and with the clients.

How would you score yourself on the following 8 Core Competencies of Leadership* ? I’ve listed them as two ends of the same communication focus:

Assertiveness VS Active Listening

Constructive Feedback VS Praise, Recognition, and Quality Time

Initiation VS Collaboration

Accountability VS Mentoring

Most people live at one end of the scale or the other. The best leaders can incorporate all of these competencies.

If you’d like more information about the Peoplemap Leadership training, please contact me:

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