Steve Jobs Showed How Towering Strengths Overshadow WeaknessesThis month’s release of release of “Jobs” the biographical drama film starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs shows our continuing interest in this extraordinary leader. Jobs disrupted and redefined the music, smart phone, computer, and related industries.

Jobs’ large legacy resulted from a few outstanding strengths that many called genius. The new film, previous books, and articles have also documented a darker side or the weaknesses of this remarkable leader. He’s an exceptional example of what our research clearly shows: profound strengths can neutralize and overshadow a leader’s weaknesses.

This has deep and revolutionary implications for developing leadership skills. Typically leadership development, performance management, and other approaches to improvement are built around fixing weaknesses. Our research shows that building leadership strengths:

  • Is the only way to move leadership skills from good to great.
  • Produces up to three times higher change and improvement.
  • Propels dramatically higher profits, sales, engagement, morale, energy levels, turnover, health and safety, and customer satisfaction.
  • Broadens the spectrum of development methods with cross-training and competency companions.
  • Boosts participant motivation to improve by 2 – 3 times.
  • Energizes and makes organizational culture much more positive.
  • It’s a lot more fun to work on strengths!

In his latest Forbes column, The Big Lessons About Leadership From Steve Jobs, Jack Zenger explains; “the research is clear, however, the most effective leaders are not the ones without flaws, nor are they above average on every leadership competency. Neither of those paths leads to great leadership. The winning ticket: Like Jobs, you must possess 3-5 competencies in which you excel.”

View Zenger Folkman’s webinar The Fascinating Case of Steve Jobs — Can Profound Strengths Overwhelm Flaws?  Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman will delve into the history of Steve Jobs’ and Apple’s success. They will discuss:

  • What happens to the very small number of successful leaders with strengths but also fatal flaws
  • What we know about Steve Jobs’ strengths and flaws
  • What might have happened had Jobs been open to feedback
  • What positive aspects, if any, were caused by his negative behavior
  • Research that shows most leaders are blind about their own strengths and weaknesses