Internalizing Strengths: An Overlooked Way of Overcoming Weaknesses in Managers

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For practicing managers and those who develop them, this report offers sound but often neglected developmental principles on overcoming weaknesses.

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Author Robert E. Kaplan
ISBN 978-1-882197-49-1
Publisher CCL Press

Because executives tend to be problem solvers, they typically focus on weaknesses when they want to improve their performance. This approach can be helpful but there is another that can be just as effective: recognizing strengths. A senior manager whom the author interviewed said this about a top person, "If he saw his own strengths and internalized them, a lot of his weaknesses would go away." In this report, the author explains why it is critical to recognize strengths in order to improve performance and why it is often difficult to get that notion across to executives.

Table of Contents

Internalizing Strengths: An Overlooked Way of Overcoming Weaknesses in Managers, CCL Press, 1999
Preface vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
How the Failure to Recognize Strengths Affects Executive Performance 2
They Overdo What They Underestimate 4
They Underdo What They Underestimate 5
They React to Perceived Lack of Talent by Trying Too Hard 6
Why Talking to Executives About Their Strengths Can Be Difficult 9
They Are Uncomfortable with Praise 11
They Are Averse to Arrogance 11
They Have a Fear of Complacency 12
They Feel Pressure to Keep Up the Good Work 13
What Can Be Gained from Internalizing One's Strengths 14
Strengths Are Tempered 14
Energy Is Freed Up for the Weaker Side 16
How to Help Executives Use Strengths for Development 22
Principle 1: Don't Let Them Take the Strengths for Granted 23
Principle 2: Engage Them in Potent Self-reflection 25
Principle 3: Concentrate the Messages and Distill the Data 26
Principle 4: Get Personally Involved 28
Principle 5: Stay Involved 29

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