Embracing the Power of Our Defects is Key to Excelling in Business

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Embracing the Power of Our Defects is Key to Excelling in Business

On occasion I come across a quote that causes the entrepreneur in me to contemplate the inner workings of a business - how we make decisions and how we think about challenges. Here’s one that recently resonated:

"We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects." -Alexis de Tocqueville, Former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France

Better together

The fact is no one can do everything well - we all are a mixture of positive qualities and defects. This quote is wise indeed because it shines a light on the deep dark truth that our defects are every bit a part of us as are our positive qualities. And, as it proclaims, when used together, they can actually help us to excel. But how can deficits - our shortcomings, drawbacks, and negative qualities - improve our performance when used along with our more positive qualities?

Like in any situation, when wholeness is employed, any effort is enhanced - even when part of the whole is less than ideal. It’s important to recognize that even our deficits have a purpose, providing a gut-level sense of balance that helps us recognize what we are good at and what we’re not.

Clearly, others have similarly contemplated this topic:

"You are strong when you know your weaknesses. You are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws. You are wise when you learn from your mistakes." ―Unknown

Inspiring challenges unlocked

An asset is something we can do, have or give no matter what that unquestionably adds value. While on the surface deficits appear to be the opposite of assets, they’re actually not; they provide opportunity for personal and professional development. Ignoring, hiding from or failing to acknowledge our defects is simply an exercise in denial; it will make us feel bad about our overall competence and will prevent us from seeing them as the “diamonds in the rough” they are. On the other hand, recognizing and attempting to diminish, overcome or circumvent a deficit may propel us to try harder, innovate, outthink - and that adds energy to the equation. When we are willing to stare our deficits in the eye and challenge their power over us, they tend to lose the weight we’ve assigned them; they transform into fodder for personal and professional growth.

Another apt quote:

"Sometimes you don’t realize your strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness." ―Susan Gale

There is no fail

It’s said that there is no failing at a task. We either win, or we learn. "Failure" only exists when we don’t recognize the lesson and consequently learn to do or see things differently in subsequent attempts. In overcoming the failed attempt, truths are revealed, new information is gleaned and we learn more about what we didn’t know. Failures help us ask better questions and envision novel solutions.

And finally:

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s quite empowering to consider defects as our allies. It’s an exercise in problem solving that, rather than making us feel less-than, can lead to greater strength and agility in the way we run our businesses.

How do you deal with defects in your business?

Read other Gina articles