Developing Strengths, Not Weaknesses

Are your training investments focused on developing strengths or overcoming weaknesses?

Peter Drucker said, “[Someone] should never be appointed to a managerial position if his vision focuses on people’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths. The [person] who always knows exactly what people cannot do, but never sees anything they can do, will undermine the spirit of his organization.”

Drucker’s thoughts are underscored and expanded in a recent Harvard Business Review article by the talented team at Gallup. They conclude that, “there’s significant potential in developing what is innately right with people versus trying to fix what’s wrong with them.” At a time when employee engagement is a pressing concern for many global organizations, this Gallup study found employees are six times more likely to be engaged at work when they get to do what they are good at–rather than focusing on those skills in which they will never excel.

Hiring strengths and teaming to account for weaknesses is more than a popular HR mantra. Gallup’s research found it makes good business sense with solid growth in sales, profits, and customer engagement.

Investing training dollars in trying to get people better at things they will never be good at is a misplaced use of time and resources.