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When Leadership Development Is a Bad Thing

I used to think I had to change to be a good leader. Now I see the strengths I had all along.

What about you? Have you been working hard to overcome what you see as an inherent liability in your personality? What if you stopped trying and embraced who you are? In his book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath wrote, “From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.” This is the problem that led to the development of the Strengths Finder assessment. He has a point when he says, “You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”

While Strengths Finder is based on talents and skills, the same applies to personality. Investing in your personal growth is always worthwhile, but if you’re trying to fundamentally change the person God made you to be, you’re wasting your time. You’re also depriving the world of your unique characteristics. Quite frankly, we don’t need you to be any more like the rest of us. We need you to be you.

Amy Simpson is an inner strength coach, a popular speaker, and the award-winning author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission and Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry (both InterVarsity Press). You can find her at AmySimpsonOnline.com, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter @aresimpson.

August22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

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