Thursday, June 26, 2008
Emphasizing Strengths while not bothering to fix weaknesses
Have you ever thought about the annual review where your boss has to say something positive and something negative? The focus on the negative is worthwhile in situations where your weaknesses isn't at the level of mediocrity. Have you ever considered that this type of conversation is a trap and in all reality a good predictor that your boss may be incompetent?
Consider what would happen if your boss were truly doing their job. They would probably deploy you in a scenario that only leveraged your strengths while not exposing your weaknesses. If you are having this conversation, the odds are good that your boss has drunk the HR Kool-aid and is guilty of treating you like a pluggable FTE resource and not a human who has strengths and weaknesses.
Most folks are good at a handful of things and utterly miserable at most. I am great at deeply understanding architecture (enterprise, software, infrastructure, etc) and software development but don't have an operational grain to my persona.
If you have ever met me in person, you would know that the odds are good at deploying me in a combat situation would result in a way as my personality, physique and constitution are all suited. Likewise, you would also know that spending time teaching me to be a horse jockey and betting on me to win a horse race would be ridiculous.
It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre.
Enterprise architects need to acknowledge that at any level, being incremental is a mental disorder. Besides, if you focus on strengths, morale will improve and you may actually become successful in hiring top talent vs hiring average folks and relabeling them...
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