Most Leaders Know Their Strengths — but Are Oblivious to Their Weaknesses

NCMA

Most Leaders Know Their Strengths — but Are Oblivious to Their Weaknesses

by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

“Oh, I pretty much know my strengths and my weaknesses.”

If we had a dollar for every time we’d heard this from an executive we were coaching, we could have retired a long time ago. When probed, they often proclaim that while they might not recognize all their strengths, they are confident about knowing their serious weaknesses.

And yet what we see when we administer 360-degree feedback surveys on behalf of these leaders is that the executives with really low scores in one or more areas are often completely unaware of their fatal flaws. They are shocked to find themselves scoring so low — even though approximately 30% of all the leaders we’ve studied have at least one fatal flaw.

Let us explain what we mean by a “fatal flaw.” Everyone has weaknesses, but over the course of administering assessments to tens of thousands of leaders…

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