Strength from Imperfection
Nobody is without imperfection, we all have our strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots, whether we are aware of them or not. The way to compensate for our weaknesses and blind spots is a combination of being open-minded to the fact that they might be there, working with other people who are stronger where we are weaker, and counting on the counsel of others who have a track record in achieving those things that we wish to achieve, but cannot, because we are stuck in one of our blind spots.
This is how we grow and improve and almost all of us will have experienced this in our own lives many times. Looking back on our past, we remember the times we didn’t know or couldn’t understand something, and we recollect the times we were not able to see a way forward in the face of a challenge. Perhaps we remember the feelings of frustration, anxiety, maybe even anger that we experienced at the time. I know that I have had this experience personally many times over.
Often in hindsight, we chuckle at our past naivety, lack of understanding, and blindness to the many ways that did, in fact, exist to overcome the barriers that we thought were insurmountable but just couldn’t see. As my friend and mentor Alan Weiss often says when he learns something new “I am always astonished at how dumb I was two weeks ago.”
Many of us advance through life like this in a rather random and haphazard way without a full awareness or consciousness of the process that is unfolding within us. However, there are some, the most successful people in my experience, who cultivate this approach proactively and consistently and who are quite purposefully aware and conscious that they are doing so.
Firstly, and fundamentally, they approach their own weaknesses and blind spots with acceptance as well as a good measure of self-compassion. They are always awake to the possibility that they may need help and advice from others, yet they do not use this as an excuse to shirk their own responsibilities or dither over important decisions.
Rather, they use the approach as a powerful tool to maximise and accelerate their progress towards their goals and objectives. With this attitude they give themselves the permission they need to be accepting of true reality, to have the confidence to delegate important tasks and responsibilities to others, and to seek advice from trusted others who have demonstrated track records of competence and experience – from people who have what Ray Dalio refers to as “believability” in his excellent book Principles.
This view of improvement applies as much in business as it does to our personal lives. I have seen the negative consequences of the contrary approach in business many times – where imperfections are denied or hidden, decision-making power is authoritarian and highly centralised, and innovation and experimentation are stymied at best or even considered a threat. The negative consequences manifest themselves in poor customer service, defective decision-making, low staff retention, a lack of continuous improvement, and the gaming of the company reward systems among many other dysfunctions.
In my consultancy work around the world in manufacturing, distribution, and logistics services, I help clients to reach their objectives by enabling them to reframe what they themselves perceive as their weaknesses and imperfections so that they can leverage them and use them as fuel to speed their way to achieving what it is they want to achieve.
If you would like to discuss how I may be able to help you and your business do likewise you can contact me directly on +353 86 811 6030 or email@example.com, wherever you are in the world, to start the conversation.
You may also like to listen to my Interlinks podcast here Patrick Daly Interlinks Podcast (albalogistics.com) or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other main podcast platforms where there are around 90 recorded episodes on diverse topics with business practitioners from all around the world.