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1 Strengths and Weaknesses


First coaching lecture for the "Inner Circle"

I want to start with an experiment:

Scientists put mice in a room with numerous tubes. They put food in only one of the tubes. The hungry mice didn't stay in the room for a long time. Quickly they began to inspect the tubes. They searched all the tubes until they found the tube containing the food. Did they already develop some strengths?

When they were put back into the room on the following day, they immediately ran into the tube in which they found the food before. After a few days, the scientists put the food in a different tube. Of course, the mice ran into the tube in which they previously had found the food.

What do you think that the mice did when they didn't find any food there? Did they lay down in the tube and quarreled with their fate, or kept looking for it? Of course, they continued to search for the food in the other tubes.

And humans? Are we smarter than mice? What do many people do, if they do not find anything in their tube? They feel cheated and don't do anything. Many people want to earn money in a location where their strengths are not present.

Often they even want to earn money in a location in which their weaknesses have a counterproductive impact. Let's be clear on that: Those who do so, waste the time of their life with nonproductive things. They are doing something which is very energy consuming and it has little chance of success. Those people are remaining in a tube with no food. They should leave this tube and go for a different one.

Become wealthy through strengths

Here we discuss one of the most important topics ever. Because it is so important, there will be three parts to the topic of "strengths and weaknesses". You will see why focusing on weaknesses (and the tendency to overcome them) makes you poor. Let me start with the basics:

Nobody gets rich because he improves his weaknesses. Higher incomes are paid to people who are excellent - and not for mastering the basics, for example, spelling. There are average salaries for average people. And for extraordinary skills, there are extraordinary earnings.

Did we know that already? But how are we acting? Think about how you would act on the following examples:

1. Grades

Imagine your school-age child comes home with his testimony. The testimony includes a few As and Bs, some Cs and in Math an E. About which one will we talk with our child? What worries us most? Imagine, your child scored in such subjects as art, music, and sports with an A. What do you think, how many parents will say things like: "You cannot get far with this. Art has no value. Math is much more important."

But is that true? Aren't the artists, the singers and the top athletes making a lot of money today? Anyway, much more than a professor of mathematics. Immediately, the next brainfuck comes up: "Who gives me the guarantee, that my child really makes it into the top league in this area?" I would ask, "Why not?" Happiness and wealth always arise when we expand our strengths. We should not underestimate our strengths. Not our own, nor the strengths of our children.

2. Boris Grundl

When Boris Grundl was in his twenties, he had a serious accident. He broke his cervical spine, and ever since he is in a wheelchair. Imagine he would have focused on his weaknesses, on things which are no longer possible for him. Fortunately, he has focused his attention on the positive things. He actually asked himself: "What was the accident good for?"

Then he asked himself: "What can I do? What do I know? What do I have?" Of course, it would have been more obvious if he would have asked himself: "What can't I do anymore? Where do I have a lack of knowledge? What is missing?" But that's not the way to attract happiness nor wealth. Such questions lead to helplessness or even depression. Depression always has a trigger of feeling helplessness.

Incidentally, today Boris Grundl is an income millionaire. After his accident, he was initially a social welfare recipient. His example shows us, how important it is to know and develop your strengths. That's what Boris did. It always is a great pleasure to read about him. His strength? He is a great leader - he calls it "accepting help". And he became an excellent teacher for leadership. He is by far the best leadership coach in Germany. He is number one!

Boris became strong. He speaks competent and powerful, as well as hard and demanding. He keeps saying something, only he is allowed to express because he sits in a wheelchair. Are you ready for a tough sentence? Okay, Boris Grundl says: "Better paralyzed than average." Boris demands a lot, due to this accident and the excellent way he found to deal with its consequences.

What is easier?

As a third example, let's have a look at the question: What is easier? Suppose I was a reasonable bass guitar player. On a scale of one to seven (1 = pretty bad, 7 = world-class) I would be on level 3 - lower mediocrity.

And let us assume, you would compete against me, without bass playing skills. Imagine by closing your eyes. You are working hard to play the bass guitar on stage. When you open up your eyes again, you realize everyone is laughing in the auditorium. So you got countless references that clearly prove: You can not play bass guitar. On our scale, that would be a score of -7. It can not get worse.

And now comes the question: For whom would it be easier to increase by 3 points: for me from +3 to +6 (just below the top bass player of the world)? Or for you from -7 to -4? In any case, you would still be terrible. The audience would still run away if you would play, just not that fast anymore.

In the wrong tube

Most people think that it would be easier for you. But the opposite is true. I have got a better chance of success because I already have some capabilities in this field. Which already has got me some recognition. I have had some positive experiences. Due to that, I  was able to earn money with my talent. Because I loved making music. Very soon I had a vision and my self-confidence developed. Since I already had some talent, I found good teachers and coaches easier. And there could be something incredible in me. Maybe I would even succeed in getting into the top bass players in the world. I should not exclude this before I have not moved into a supportive environment.

How about you? Even if you improved by spectacular 7 points, then you would be at 0. Still well way below average. Nobody would like to listen to you. You would have to practice and train permanently. Also, you would not have fun, no talent, no one would help you. And finally, you would not get any recognition. Or do you think people would pat you on the back and say, "It is great, how have you managed to play the bass guitar so badly?" Of course not.

I write that in such detail so that we never forget the following: We are wasting our lives if we are fighting against our weaknesses, instead of improving our strengths.

Please consider the message all three examples contain: it's not about reducing weaknesses. Even if we could do this, we would end up being average in the best case. And nobody cares so much about the average. We would then only have to do something that everyone does. And that is worth as much as sand in the desert. Nothing is more important for building wealth and fortune than expanding one's strengths to deliver excellence.

Which strengths?

Many people take so much care about reducing their weaknesses, that they are not aware of their strengths. They say about themselves: " I believe that I have no particular strengths ...!"  The bad news is, that we do not notice our strengths. How can we become an awareness of the strengths we got? You can find these strengths in your DISC profile.

One reason is that our education, our school system, our environment did focus too much on reducing our weaknesses. Everyone wanted to educate us on a useful, adopted person. That's the case in many families. Maybe you were lucky enough, and your parents, educators, and teachers were totally different. If so, you should be very grateful to those people.

But there is a second reason: We do not notice our strengths, because we take for granted what comes easily to us. We notice immediately if someone makes mistakes. Errors and weaknesses are obvious. But our strengths don't get emphasized in our society. In a dictation, you don't count the words that were spelled correctly. One counts the five errors, which got marked with red ink.

So the tragedy takes its course. What most people notice are their weaknesses, because they are more obvious. Then they try to eliminate them. That's why the analysis of the DISC profile is so valuable. You already identified your strengths with it.

What makes you rich, are your strengths. And most people do not pay any attention to them. It is crucial that you become aware of your strengths. You got the opportunity to find the passion of your life, to recognize your talents. Do you see how everything is interconnected? Do you understand, why we can't talk only about happiness, becoming wealthy and rich?

We also will talk about the "achievement journal" again and again. Each coaching letter ends with the request to record five achievements in your achievement journal. You can not do this for months or even years without becoming aware of your strengths. You only have to read your successes from time to time and ask yourself: What strengths are supporting these successes? What strengths are always in my life? How can I systematize it?

To do:

  1. Please take at least an hour to complete the following exercise:
    Scroll through your DISC profile and find recurring strengths in the different chapters. Think about successes you achieved in your life, for which you used these strengths. Find out from which strengths you did benefit over and over again.
  2. Then ask yourself:
    How can I systematize these strengths?
    How can I increase them?
  3. Formulate these strengths so clearly and so explicitly that you can persuade a good coach to coach you in the expansion of these strengths. Because you have to be very convincing to get a coach for a coaching process. It is important that you believe in yourself and your strengths.
  4. Create a plan on how to build your key strengths.
  5. Make a note of your three most important strengths in your success journal.