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Listen to this blog post:

Let me tell you another true story.

A few months back I interviewed Christy Rutherford, an executive coach for alpha women and a former Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Christy indicated one or her leadership roles was to mentor the weakest of new people under her command on the procedures for being effective at their positions in the U.S. Coast Guard.

It made me think about something.

One component of being a good leader is for you understand your own weaknesses and then “hire your weaknesses.”

What are you weak at professionally?

I am an attorney in private practice and a large part of my law practice is working with start-up companies and assisting them with legal advice to make them successful.

I founded my own law firm as an entrepreneur back in 2002 and do not like to do my own business or personal taxes.  Therefore, I am weak at doing taxes.

One of my clients is a brilliant visionary and she has significant sales and marketing experience, but little practical business experience. Therefore, she is weak at completing the day-to-day operations required to run a business.

Another one my clients is a creative genius and has significant prior experiences running a business but he has no sales and marketing experience.  Therefore, he is weak at selling the products he creates.

“The smartest thing I ever did was hire my weakness.”

Sara Blakely – billionaire business women and founder of SPANX, Inc. – activewear apparel

How you do “hire your own weaknesses?”

  1.  Create a list of your own strengths and weaknesses.  Take out a pencil or pen and piece of paper and create two columns.  The first label my strengths.  The second label my weaknesses. For both strengths and weaknesses consider your emotional, intellectual, interpersonal and personal strengths and weaknesses.  If you have trouble determining your weaknesses, think about the opposites of your strengths to create a clarity through contrast.  For example, if your strengths are being logical and predictable, your weaknesses may include not being creative and spontaneous.  After creating your list, look at your list of weaknesses and rewrite in a priority order with item number 1 being your biggest weakness, item number 2 being your next biggest weakness, etc.
  2. Using your list of strengths and weaknesses to complete a SWOT analysis.  SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and is a method for identifying and analyzing internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities (e.g., emerging needs, underserved markets, lack of competition, etc.) and external Threats (e.g., competitors, changing needs, products at end of a life cycle, etc.)  The SWOT method is created to Albert Humphrey, who developed the approach at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) back in the 1960s.  A SWOT analysis is typically used to determine how closely a business is aligned with its growth, profitability and success trajectories.  Take out another piece of paper and create two more columns and label them Opportunities and Threats and fill these two columns to complete your SWOT analysis to examine your growth, profitability and success trajectories.
  3. Hire Your Weakness. Based on your SWOT analysis and your list of weaknesses in priority order, create a job description to define a position to “hire your weakness.”  Post the job description, collect resumes and candidates to interview, then hire a person who can complete all the tasks required by your biggest weaknesses.  Your biggest weaknesses are that person’s biggest strengths.  Hiring your weaknesses will allow both the person you hire and you to focus on your strengths and position your company on a path for success.

Using these techniques, my female client hired her weakness, a business manager to complete all the day-to-day operations of her business.  My male client hired his weakness, a sales manager to market and sell the products he created.  I hired, my weakness, a certified public account to handle all my taxes.

Hiring your biggest weakness will help you create a positive impact in your own business and put you on a trajectory to success.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2023, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.