Do you focus on your career strengths or try to motivate yourself to work on your weaknesses?

I believe far too much time is spent on trying to raise weaknesses to a mediocre level, far better to play to your strengths and think about your natural talents.

Let me share a story.

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from over exertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb, and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

love to know what you think of this

With many thanks to Jane Bluestein

Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic
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Published On: March 22nd, 2013 / Categories: Career Management, Inspiration /


  1. Lisa McLoughlin March 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

    What a clear way to demonstrate the benefits of using natural strengths and not wasting precious time slogging at the weaknesses.
    All the best sports people and athletes work to their strengths.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Denise Taylor March 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Glad you liked it, I love a story approach to getting a message across.

  3. Denise Taylor April 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for your comments Amechi. I know our work can help people understand their strengths and talents but it is then making sure you are in a working environment that wants those strengths.

  4. Denise Taylor April 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Got this by email, so adding it here
    Good blog post Denise
    Getting organisations to buy into this approach more consistently could see a real break through in people’s development and enjoyment of work, as well as some more open reasons for leaving jobs. Schools too could become more stimulating environment for many more children – would it be useful to send the classroom joker for comedy improvisation classes rather than the head?
    Talent placing as much as talent spotting is what is lacking along with nurturing such talent.

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