Is your strength also your biggest weakness? (Part 1)

I can’t count how many times I have heard that “our greatest strength is our greatest weakness.” If it is our greatest weakness, then it probably isn’t our greatest strength, it is more likely still in talent mode. In order to avoid a tangent into the semantics of strengths being weaknesses, let’s focus on why our top CliftonStrengths© (“greatest strength”) might also be the source of our greatest weakness. 

I can think of 4 primary reasons our CliftonStrengths talent themes show up as weaknesses:

  • Ignorance – we didn’t even know it was a talent. Many times this is because our talents are so “normal” to us that we aren’t aware of them. Sort of like a fish not knowing what water is because it is all the fish has ever known! 
  • Lack of Development – We have not taken the time to add knowledge, skills, or use in order to grow our talent
  • Emotional Hijack – For some reason, we are in an emotional/amygdala hijack and operating out of fear
  • Character – We lack the internal character structure to show up strong and capable even though we have the skills and talent.

When it comes to growing our talents into true strengths I encourage you to read these previous blog entries. You can also read the blog entries for your specific top talents and find tips and growth ideas there. Formula for Growth 1 & Formula for Growth 2

The matter of ignorance is quickly addressed by going to and purchasing the CliftonStrengths Top 5 Assessment. If you are really interested in knowing about how all 34 talents are ranked in you, purchase those results as well. (Note: I do not represent, nor do I receive any compensation from Gallup).

So, two pieces of the solution to keep our “Strengths” from becoming our greatest weakness are simply to know them and grow them. Candace Fitzpatrick, the woman who created CoreClarity© reminds us that our talent themes may explain poor behavior but they are not an excuse, and it is our responsibility to know and grow them.

If your strengths are working against you, or you aren’t sure where your weaknesses are coming from because you don’t yet know your strengths, I encourage you to first complete the CliftonStrengths assessment, and then visit the blog posts linked above as you also read my blog posts about your talent themes.

Come back for the next blog post about how to deal with an emotional hijack so you can stay in control of your talent rather than your talents controlling you.

“CliftonStrengths” and the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are registered trademarks of Gallup, Inc. The graphic elements copyright © CoreClarity, Inc.

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