The Many Paths to Professional Greatness

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

I’ve been meeting with a team of business leaders to discuss their professional development. As we conduct our initial evaluation, most of them want to focus on how to improve what they see as their most glaring weaknesses.

While I point out that improving a weakness is a worthy task, there may be a better return on their efforts if we focus on some other ideas such as building on a strength or trying something new that they’ve never done before.

Our negativity bias always pushes us to see the worst of situations and that includes our own evaluation, but research that we discuss in Strategy Driven Leadership points out that the greatest risk for most professionals is to overuse an existing strength to the point of obnoxiousness rather than having a weakness create a problem situation that can’t be remedied.

For one of my new clients, that message resonated with him as he acknowledged that his tendency to just push for results has left his team tired and weary rather than excited and engaged.

What do you want to do better in 2021?  Maybe something new?



  • I’ll be speaking today to the American Society of Healthcare Human Resources Association, along with Mike Couch on Strategy Driven Leadership. If you’d like to join in, we have a discount code you can use. Just log in here and use Discount code strategy40
  • Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with the Allegheney Conference’s “Strengthening Community Partnership” program members

The Leadership Café
Last week, on the Leadership Café:

  • Bobbi Watt Geer is the President and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Like United Way’s across the country, they are dedicated to gathering communities together and creating an impactful change and have done a remarkable job in 2020. In this episode, Bobbi discusses her first year as her current role and, leadership takeaways during the pandemic, and how leaders can foster culture.
  • Howard B. Slaughteris the President and CEO of Habitat Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. For more than 30 years, Habitat Pittsburgh has provided homeownership to local, limited-income families. During our discussion, Howard discusses how HHOGP is a hybrid organization; building, preserving, and financing affordable housing. Dr. Slaughter also shares his powerful message about what it is like to watch a family gain the emotional connection that comes as a result of their helping to build their new home.

© Richard Citrin 2020

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