Successful Leaders Understand, Value and  Leverage What Energizes Them, and what energizes others. They also understand that over-using a strength results in a weakness.

The Negative Side to Overusing a Strength

In Myers Briggs, these inherent strengths are called preferences for Extraversion and Introversion. Both preferences are wonderful; there is no right/wrong, or good/bad preference. We have however determined that leaders sometimes get into trouble, not because of their weaknesses, but because they are overusing a strength.

If you have a preference for extraversion (E) you might tend to think out loud, be first to jump in with an idea, get energized by being in a brainstorming session, etc. If you have a preference for introversion (I) you probably like to think through your ideas before speaking, don’t like to fight for airtime within a group, need time after a brainstorming session to recharge your batteries, etc.

So what happens if the “E” over-uses his/her strength? They may be perceived as annoying, grandstanding, or overbearing. They turn their natural strength into an Achilles heel. If the “I” over-uses his/her strength they may be perceived as arrogant, not contributing, and worse yet, their ideas might not get heard.

It’s important as leaders that we manage our own strengths and not over-use them, as well as provide open, honest feedback to others who are over-using a strength.

Do you recognize and honor differences? And, do you provide feedback to help others become stronger leaders?