How can you turn the weaknesses of your teammates into strengths?
This is my take on a question asked on a leadership Q&A page.
Father of modern management Peter Drucker said:
“[...] to get strength, one has to put up with weaknesses.”
Don't waste time trying to get rid of weaknesses when you could be furthering strengths instead.
Anyone has a set of skills and character traits. Hopefully, some of these are relevant strengths to their position.
But some of these traits might be perceived as weaknesses in the context of a particular job.
When you hire people who excel at what they do, excessively pronounced traits are part of the package.
Extreme traits leave no room for somewhat opposite characteristics.
You can't hire an amazing creative and hope to get a risk manager. Likewise, you can't hire a disciplined project manager and complain about their inflexibility.
Try to convert their weaknesses, and you will destroy what made them great for the job in the first place.
So how, then, can you have your cake and eat it too?
You can reduce the impact of your teammates' weaknesses by managing situations.
If a project could be at risk because of one's weakness, you assign it to someone else.
And if you need this person and no one else, you pair them with a teammate whose strengths complement their weakness.
Creating beautifully complementary teams is part of the art of management.
One last thought.
Some weaknesses can't be overlooked even if the person is exceptionally gifted. Integrity, for instance, is one of them.
Try to mitigate these at your own peril.