Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses


Every so often, I’m reminded that I really need to live my own life and not someone else’s.  Last night, that hit me hard and square in the face.  I went on a craft beer brewery tour with some friends.  It was a classic “boys’ night out” and it was good to reconnect in a testosterone-filled setting of barley and hops.  I am blessed with both living in an area with a VERY robust craft beer culture AND great friends with great families.  I am also blessed to know some pretty incredible people, in general.  To that point, I was faced with the amazing things that my friends were doing: running marathons, participating in Iron Man races, coaching incredible athletes in Iron Man races, raising families of 4 kids, and tending to urban chickens and bees.  At one point, I was ready to say, “I am nothing, I do nothing, I am not worthy…”.  While I generally feel good about who I am and what I know, I can’t compete with someone who does all this!

Some would become defensive and annoyed at the ‘over achievers’, but it’s better to keep things in perspective and congratulate others’ success.  Yes, it’s difficult to do sometimes when you’re thinking, “dang, I wish I could do that”.  However, we need to keep in mind that we’re not living in each other’s shoes.  So while we may feel a little jealous, we also need to remember that everyone is different and we all have our strengths and weaknesses…especially the “over achievers” – they have their limits too.

So while I can’t complete an Iron Man race, I do have a better handle on data than most…and I can spin up an Amazon AWS environment when others cannot.  Also, I can think strategically while acting tactically in support of the strategy.  This allows me to be able to be effective in a number of levels of management: both higher and lower.  So I can implement the strategy that I know is correct.

Yes, I wish I could do more…and I continually strive to do and learn more.  However, we should also keep in mind that all of us can contribute even if we’re not the shining star.  Most often, it takes a team to make great things happen and I need solid team members to contribute their own, individual talents.  Then we can achieve much more than any one individual!


Veteran technology professional and manager

Posted in Career, work habits

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