Elon Musk And Steve Jobs Story Shed Light On What Students Should Do About Their WeaknessesBy Beth Golden
From a young age we all learn that wanting to be good in everything is impossible. There will always be things that you are good at as well as things, that well, you're not so good at. It's okay to have weaknesses, we all have them and there's nothing wrong with it. The more important question is, what do we do about it.
One posted the question, "Is it better to focus on your strengths or on your weaknesses?" On the knowledge sharing network Quora and there's a bunch of great answers - some of them tell you to practice your weakness so you grow better at it, some tell you to focus on your strengths instead and some say, consider the effects of both before making a choice.
A recent reply from Dean Yeong said that you should focus on one or both depending on what your strengths and weaknesses are and how it affects you. It is a sensible advice. Focus on your strengths and weaknesses as to how it affects your business, professional and personal life. Adjust your focus according to their impact.
If you intend to be a writer be sure to master grammar, if you plan to be a professional athlete focus on your strength. If you work for a bank and have an interest in painting but not that good at it, polishing your negotiating skills and knowledge of your bank's products and services is what you should have more focus on and your passion for the arts becomes secondary. You may enrol in art class for weekends or after work hours.
Another answer suggested focusing solely on your strengths and forgetting about your weaknesses. Max Lukominskyi of SlicePlanner cited Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as examples. He said that we all admire both because of their success in their chosen fields. They are focused on the things they are good at and are not investing their time on other things that they are not good at.
The Oracle of Omaha is indeed a great example. Even as an investor, Warren Buffett played his cards carefully. If you're going to look at his track record, Mr. Buffett is a traditional investor. He only puts his money in industries and places that he is familiar with.
Quora's Jonathan Brill gave a very enlightening answer. Mr. Brill suggested that instead of focusing on either strengths or weaknesses, we should instead use our energy to work on things that are holding us back.
He cited the stories of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Both men are not just successful but have greatly contributed to innovative technology. However, Steve and Elon did not start that way.
There was a reason why they are young and already successful. To consider, Steve Jobs was booted out of his own brainchild company. Even as a young man, Steve have shown superb skills in selling not just his creations but his vision. There was no doubt that he was an exceptionally talented visionary.
However, his success came to a halt because there were some things that Steve Jobs still needed to learn to be able to successfully take his vision to the next level. For Steve it wasn't the core skills of business or engineering that was missing but it was the people skills which includes patience, humility and sympathy and the ability to manage complex projects. He needed to deal with people who are extremely talented, creative and sometimes, demanding.
It was during his time out of Apple that Steve learned additional skills that he needed to make his comeback possible. His mentors taught him the things he didn't have initially and made it possible for him to become even more successful and eventually get back inside Apple to create the best line of consumer electronic products the world has ever seen.
Billionaire Elon Musk is also recognized for being a visionary with the very ambitious goals of his companies Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. We see what he has already accomplished and how he is using what he already has done to push the known limits of technology.
However, Elon Musk lost the first 2 companies he started: Zip2 and X. Lack of investor support, job revolts and missing deadlines caused a younger Elon Musk to sell these companies, he made profit but he admits regretting not being able to hitting these companies' goals.
While Tesla and SpaceX have seen their share of missed deadlines and other shortcomings, they have made remarkable progress getting big things done. All the achievements these companies are able to accomplish wouldn't have been possible 10 years ago.
A decade before Elon Musk lacked the social skills and confidence to build a team of supporters and allies to rally behind his companies and his vision. His commercial success also helped him gain a credibility to recruit and retain great people and quite literally, rocket scientists.
Jonathan Brill ended his answer encouraging people to work on their weaknesses if they plan to do other things in life. Students should learn what their weaknesses are and take time to work on them as it can benefit them in the future when they pursue their careers.