One of my early mentors, Thomas Leonard, advised people not to try to improve a weakness. He said that, when you try to improve a weakness, the only thing you get is “a stronger weakness.” I believe that is true. It is more important to focus on your strengths and maximize what you do well than to try to fix something that you may never do very well. However, there is a way to actually leverage your weakness and that is to make the most of it.

Everyone has weaknesses, at least those of us who are human. As humans we spend a lot of time trying to improve, cover up or apologize for our weaknesses. There is a better way. You can actually make the most of your weakness. There was a car rental company that advertised that they were number two so they tried harder. Instead of seeing second place as a bad thing, they leveraged it. There is a cough syrup company that is running ads that boast that the medicine tastes awful, but it works great. On one radio ad a man calls the company and tells the woman who answers the telephone that the cough syrup is the worst stuff he has every tasted. In a very proud voice she says, “Why, thank you.” Another ad has a man telling the woman that the syrup tastes like garbage bag leakage, and he asks whether it is supposed to taste that bad. In her happy voice she says, “Yes, it is!” Instead of trying to make any excuses about how bad the stuff tastes, the company simply puts it right out there, makes fun of it and uses the opportunity to tell you how wonderfully it works.

A trick question asked in interviews is “What is one of your weaknesses?” What the interviewer is really trying to get at here is not what you weakness is; honestly, they don’t want you to have any. They want to know a weakness you have had and how have you corrected it. I actually answer this question to highlight one of my strengths. My answer recounts that I am challenged to be an organized person and, although I have that somewhat under control, I don’t try to over-correct because I am a creative person and often what looks like disorganization to an outsider is simply part of my creativity in progress.

You have a least one weakness and that is okay. You are human, after all. Don’t waste your time trying to improve every weakness; instead, leverage it. Make the most of what you don’t do well, highlight it and build on it. If nothing else, you can always use a weakness to spotlight a strength.

Author's Bio: 

Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD is a human potential expert who has supported thousands of people in becoming wealthier, healthier and happier by providing daily motivation, information and inspiration through her award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. For her free report, “How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action” go to