Think 80/20 When Using Your Strengths And Weakness

5 action steps to become strength-based

Think 80/20 When Using Your Strengths And Weakness

There has been an emerging practice over the past decade when it comes to using your strengths and weakness. The key practice and advice people have given is to spend your time in areas of strengths while limiting or avoiding areas of weakness. Knowing each of us have both strengths and weakness, how does a person become a strength-based leader? How much time should be spent in each area?

I believe there is a percentage we all should strive to obtain when it comes to the use of our strengths and weakness. You should think 80/20 percent when using your strengths and weakness. The rule is simple: spend at least 80 percent of your time, energy, and efforts in areas of personal strengths while spending no more than 20 percent of your time in areas of weakness. Author and father of the strength-based movement Donald O. Clifton shared this insightful wisdom in his book, Now Discover Your Strengths:

“Our research into human strengths does not support the extreme, and extremely misleading, assertion that ‘you can play any role you set your mind to,’ but it does lead us to this truth: Whatever you set your mind to, you will be most successful when you craft your role to play to your signature talents (strengths) most of the time.”

This is not saying you have to spend all of your time in areas of strengths, as some people have taught or lead to believe. But you should spend most of your time in areas of strengths while limiting your work in areas of weakness. Here are 5 action steps to help you apply the 80/20 percent rule:

  1. Evaluate how much time you spend working in areas of strengths and weakness
  2. Restructure your work responsibilities and roles (as much as possible) for you to follow the 80/20 rule
  3. Intentionally spend time learning about and mastering your strengths
  4. Start to Manage your Weakness
  5. Work in your strengths before and after working in areas of weakness

Questions: How much time do you spend working in areas of strengths and weakness? How do you spend more time in areas of strengths?

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  • I don’t like using my weaknesses…it’s difficult :)

    While I enjoy sharpening my strengths, I know that working on bettering my weak areas is important for overall growth and maturity. Lately I’m becoming more aware of my weaknesses and seeing opportunities to use them/practice and as I’m more intentional about it, I can see slow improvements. Such as in being patient. I am not a patient person, but God is showing me little ways throughout my day that can be used to teach me how to wait with a peaceful heart.

    • It sure is, TC Avey.

      While I believe we should spend most of our time in and improving our areas of strengths we also need to get better at and work in areas of weakness. It sounds like you are doing a great job with that!