I didn’t get to write a post yesterday because I was exhausted. Our teams do presentations on the 4th day, yesterday, that is meant to “make the case” for some proposal for a fictional institution. We worked late into Wednesday night, I was rehearsing my section of the presentation even later than that (into Thursday morning), and then the presentation itself certainly was a high pressure situation. We were all just very, very tired.
I’ll have a recap post at some point of the entire experience but, as was the case the first couple of days, a quick reflection is still important.
With all the work done to find our strengths so that we can apply them effectively, I have come to appreciate that strengths can actually be weaknesses themselves. It’s all about context. When working in a team where everyone is a highly-motivated, potential formal or informal leader, strengths such as being an Achiever (wanting to accomplish things), an Arranger (always understanding how things work together), and Input (wanting know more and more) can be a problem. They can make me inpatient, they can make me potentially disruptive. Considering the effort put in by my fellow teammates, I can only hope that I did a mildly effective job of keeping myself in check. Perhaps most of the time.
This means that there is even greater nuance to dealing with strengths and weaknesses than I had realized. Before, it was know your strengths, which helps you understand your weaknesses, then either address the weaknesses head on (out of your comfort zone) or find a complement. But strengths themselves can be weaknesses. My, this can get complicated.
One thing I saw during the building of our presentation was that all of us having to just buckle down and get the thing done allowed our “executor” strengths to come through, and then our other strengths could rise above that. It was almost like a base or “safe space” for us to start opening up. I felt a lot more comfortable knowing we all had this common goal that included a timeline, where we really knew we had to just get down to it. But even so, no one stopped indicating those existing strengths. I found this fascinating and I truly enjoyed just turning to others and saying “I’m not good at this, someone please help me.” Others rose up, gave me ideas, and things came together.
Considering that “leading from where you are” is a fundamental part of leadership in general but also key for those of us that are parts of larger organizations, this was pretty cool to watch.
I want to thank all of those at LTL 13, and to my teammates on team 5 in particular for an amazing experience.