M5 – Using Systems Theory to Overcome Business and Personal Weaknesses

It’s January 13, 2014… Welcome to the M5!

Many authors claim that you shouldn’t work on strengthening your weaknesses because it takes time, and energy, which diverts your attention and makes you more prone to fail.

They claim that you can never make your weaknesses strengths, and therefore shouldn’t work on improving them. They suggest that you focus on what you do best, and let someone else handle the tasks you are weak at.

I’m not pointing this out because it’s incorrect advice, I’m pointing it out because it doesn’t paint a full picture.

I’m a fan of systems theory, and the tote model, as you may well know. When you study six Sigma, and the theory of constraints you learn that your throughput and output would be unlimited if there were no constraints on the system.

Since no business, regardless of its size, can produce unlimited amounts of product every hour, it means that every business has constraints in its systems. In other words, weaknesses.

According to the theory of constraints, if you can determine the vital processes that cause your key business outcomes, and elevate them to higher performance levels, the effect will be greater customer loyalty, profitability, growth and overall business success.

This is the same as saying: identify your weaknesses and strengthen them, because your throughput and output will be determined by the effectiveness of your weakest link.

See, now you have a clear picture of what’s actually going on, and this applies to you personally as well as to your business. Because everything works according to systems.

So, you have to strengthen your weaknesses. There’s no way around it.

The authors who told you to ignore your weaknesses were doing you a disservice, and not giving you a clear picture of what’s necessary for success.

While there is a couple ways to strengthen, or “elevate,” physical or procedural constraints, there are only two ways to elevate personal constraints.

You can choose to hire someone to perform the tasks you are weakest at, but that requires money, or you can educate yourself and gain experience and strengthen your personal weaknesses.

There’s no other ways around it that I know of. What I do know, is that you shouldn’t take the advice of authors who tell you to ignore your weaknesses and focus on your strengths, unless you understand the greater context your issue lives within.

Then, your course of action will depend upon whether you have the financial resources to hire someone who’s strengths will counteract your weaknesses. If you don’t have the financial ability, your only choice is to strengthen your weaknesses.

That’s this week’s M5!

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller is the owner of Mindwhirl.com, a sales and marketing coaching and training company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow.

Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs.

If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (404) 858-3105, or email me at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

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