Beki Grinter

The Case for Building on Your Strengths

In academic management, computer science, research on January 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I just saw Jim Coplien’s blog post on building on your strengths. In addition to recommending that you do that, he also highlighted the role of creating a team around you of people who complement your weaknesses. I mostly like the article. I think it is good and important to pay attention to your strengths. I think it’s a great idea to build a team of people who do have skills you lack.

I also think it can be rewarding to try and work on your weaknesses, particularly as you see improvements. Or to tackle things that are systemic weaknesses, put yourself in situations that challenge things that are hard to change but never-the-less are not as helpful as you would like in a career. The reward is different, either to see those improvements or just to know that you can. Perhaps I’m alone, but it’s one way I tackle my weaknesses.

And while perhaps the University can appear to be an individualistic culture, I find myself most impressed by leaders in academia who know how to create a team that is recognized and valued for their contributions.

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