Marcus Buckingham posted a 59-second video defining strengths and weaknesses. “Many of us have things that we’re really good at that we hate… So a strength can’t be just what you’re good at. ”

« “We often think of strengths as what we’re good at and weaknesses are what we’re bad at. And certainly excellent performance is often related to strengths. So that’s not a bad place to begin. But as you may know, the definition that we landed on, is that a strength is what strengthens you and a weakness is what weakens you. And the reason we had to land on that definition, of course, is because many of us have things that we’re really good at that we hate. So what do you call that? I mean, some of us went all the way through school, getting A’s in subjects that drain us. And then we get hired by a company to do more of those things. Or perhaps we show our capability on a team and that team leader goes, “Ooh, I’m going to keep asking her to do that!” But deep down you’re like, “Oh my word. This is the weird irony of life. I’m good at it and I hate it.” What do we call that? So a strength can’t be just what you’re good at. The best definition of a strength is: what strengthens you. And the best definition of a weakness is: what weakens you, even if you’re good at it. »


Marcus Buckingham is co-author of Nine Lies About Work. from pages 80-81: “Something you are good at is not a strength; it is an ability… A strength, on the other hand, is an ‘activity that makes you feel strong.’ … It is this combination of three distinct feelings—positive anticipation beforehand, flow during, and fulfillment afterward—that makes a certain activity a strength. And it is this combination of feelings that produces in you the yearning to do the activity again and again, to practice it over and over, to thrill to the chance to do it just one more time.”

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