If I tell you that each employee has strengths, you’re not like, “Hey, that’s big news. I should keep reading this article.” You already know that.

But what if I tell you that an employee’s strengths are a threshold to his or her weaknesses and challenges. Hey, now I’m talking. That’s definitely more interesting.

Let me explain.

It all starts with your core strengths. You can recognize a strength if you think that everybody can do that. The truth is, however, that everyone cannot. It is more likely that if you removed someone’s core strength, you wouldn’t even recognize them anymore.

But that strength can be a weakness as well.

The Dutch consultant Daniel Ofman writes about this in his book Core Qualities. A Gateway to Human Resources. According to Ofman a leadership strength can give you access to your weaknesses. In his words:

“The core quality “helpfulness”, for example, can become “interference”, if overdeveloped and turned into a weakness instead of strength. This is popularly called “too much of a good thing” which expresses it perfectly.”

Let me give you an example:

One of my strengths is decisiveness. I like to make decisions. And I make them fast without much hesitation. Too much of that strength can be “too much of a good thing.” It’s a pitfall if I become pushy toward my colleagues.

This pitfall of pushiness can teach me where I want to develop myself, my challenge. I can find my challenge by looking for the positive opposite of that pitfall. For example, my challenge could be patience. And it is! I am not so patient.

What happens if I meet someone who is extremely patience? So patient that I consider it “too much of good thing”. Well, I get irritated. I’m allergic to that person’s behavior. “Too much of a good thing” – in this case patience – I translate to passiveness.

An overview:

Copyright: Daniel Ofman,

Copyright: Daniel Ofman


Your leadership challenge of today is to find one of your leadership strengths. Then fill out the diagram for that strength.