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Senior Correspondent

The 7 Powers of Weakness

The 7 Powers of Weakness


Don’t wait until you have it “all together” to lead. Arrogant leaders parade strengths. Successful leaders understand the power of weaknesses. 

You’re untrustworthy and disqualified from leadership, if you don’t have weaknesses.

Authentic leaders are better because they accept weakness.

The seven powers of weakness:

  1. Weakness expands thinking. Weakness, when embraced, enables you to think broadly about yourself and others. What do you learn about your strengths from weaknesses? Strengths often stand in contrast to weaknesses.
  2. Weakness extends impact. Leaders who receive the most help have the most impact. Leaders who reject help, limit their potential.
  3. Weakness elevates others. Your weakness invites others to feel powerful. When you reject help, you tell others they don’t matter.
  4. Weakness creates opportunity. We serve out of weakness. The most powerful solutions you bring the world are the ones you’re finding for yourself.
  5. Weakness intensifies passion. You feel energy and ownership for the solutions that most help you.
  6. Weakness enlarges empathy. Those who embrace their own frailties, understand the frailties of others. The alternative is a hard heart. Those, for example, who grapple with cancer, feel empathy for others fighting cancer.
  7. Weakness reduces arrogance. Leaders who doesn’t see their weaknesses are arrogant jerks.

Bonus: Weaknesses are powerful points of connection with others.

Pretending you’re strong where you’re weak, limits potential, elevates stress, and hinders development.

Too weak:

Don’t make excuses based on weaknesses.

Successful leaders compensate for frailties while failures make excuses.

Don’t be less strong because you have weaknesses. Competencies create success. But, the path to successful leadership includes defining, embracing, and feeling the discomfort of weakness.

How might weaknesses make leaders better?

How might leaders deal with weaknesses?

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