When you decide that there is something you’d like to better at doing, there are two possible reasons:
- It’s a weakness of yours that you want to improve.
- It’s already a strength of yours, but now you want to take it further.
Finding the balance can be tricky. If you’re a baseball player who is a good hitter but a poor fielder, which one should you work more on? Should you try to become an excellent hitter, or work to make your fielding less of a liability for the team?
The answer is likely “both”, but your daily efforts will lean one way or another.
Personally, I’m more of a “fix a weakness that I want to improve” kind of person. This is why I have things like Anki to help fill in my knowledge gaps. I try to play both sides a little bit, but I generally focus more on shoring up my weaknesses.
Gary Vaynerchuk seems to disagree. In his book “Twelve and a Half“, Gary says:
But I don’t overstress this point, because most people work only on their weaknesses, not their superpowers. Yes, I want to level set my weaknesses, but I’m more interested in taking my strengths to the moon.
Gary’s case is interesting. Generally speaking, he’s done a great job of taking his “strengths to the moon”, but much of this book of his was about how he was fixing some of his shortcomings.
Strength or weakness?
Even then, perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. A big piece of this book was Gary’s work toward “kind candor“, which I can see both ways:
- This is Gary fixing a weakness of his (candor).
- This is Gary pushing forward a strength (leadership).
I view it more like the first one, though I suspect he sees it more like the second.
Either way, he’s pushing himself to improve, and regardless which basket those improvements fall into it’s a great journey to be taking.
Which direction do you tend to push more into?