Your Weakness...Is Your Greatest Strength

There's something more personal about this field you and I work in (advertising, design, dev, PR, etc.). I suspect that's because the entrepreneurs who start firms love the field itself. People buy self-storage entities because of the money, but that's not true, here, or if it is, we're mostly failing. No, this field is driven by the same people who start restaurants/bars, architectural firms, photography studios, and fine woodworking shops. There's a deeply personal element that impacts how we run these things.

That's precisely why it's so important to understand yourself. That's not where it ends, but that is where it starts. Our flagship TBR program incorporates a scientifically valid personality exercise for every person on the team, and it helps us see who is a best fit for each of the critical "role players" (AM, PM, strategy, and ownership).

Only in understanding yourself can you head off your tendencies and give yourself a dope slap before you overreact. But the flipside of this is that your greatest weaknesses are your greatest strengths!

If you are reading this and running a firm in this space, here are some safe assumptions I can make about your greatest weaknesses, but with each of them paired with what's also true: how that can make you a fantastic leader:

I hate being out of control This firm reflects me
I'm naturally impatient I get things done, and now
I hate being taken advantage of I can push back on bad clients
I take stupid risks I'll keep innovating into the future
I'm instinctively non-conformist I can comfortably differentiate my firm
You hate process You let people find their own way
Your projections are unreliably positive You keep pushing us further

So whoever you are is, in fact, your biggest strength...and your biggest weakness. The key isn't to mash it all together and be like everyone else, but to understand and be self-aware.

We need you. They need you. But we don't need an asshole, but rather a self-aware leader who keeps producing with a gentle strength.*

*If you are reading this and happen to work for someone who is not like that, approach them with kind ruthlessness and give them feedback in the spirit of really wanting to help them. If they are recalcitrant, leave for a better leader or start your own firm.

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