Friday, April 25, 2014

When Strengths Become Derailers

The tricky thing about playing to our strengths is that it is often our strengths, applied across situations uncritically, that can hold us back.  The dark side of strengths are sometimes called derailers, because of their potential for interfering with progress and derailing success.

Consider the following examples:

1)  The diligent hard worker who periodically burns out and fails to maintain valuable friendships and personal relationships;

2)  The process-oriented trader who develops good trading habits, but fails to innovate and expand those habits;

3)  The trader who processes information very well through teamwork and social interaction, but who falls prey to consensus thinking;

4)  The caring manager who has great relationships with employees, but avoids conflict and does not effectively uphold work standards;

5)  The trader who is passionate about markets and learning about trading and who loses money by overtrading.

In each case, a strength carries the seed of its own undoing:  what powers us down the track can also derail us.

It's a good exercise:  list your top three strengths as a trader and then clearly identify a dark side to each that has, at times, derailed you.  You'll wind up with a pretty good list of best and worst practices that can feed your self-awareness and guide your trading process.

Further Reading:  Building  Strengths and Correcting Weaknesses