Your Differences Are Actually Your Greatest Professional Strengths

You’re a night owl, a mother, a daydreamer. Or maybe you grew up economically disadvantaged or deep in rural isolation. Whatever your personal difference is, you’ve likely been conditioned to believe it’s a weakness—a flaw. Something to be hidden at work. I’m here to tell you that what you think is your weakness might, in fact, be your biggest professional strength. Our personal stories influence how we think about our abilities, achievements, and possibilities, and often, our views of ourselves are more negative than the assessments from our peers.  When You’re Different from Your Peers I worked with a young leader in private equity named Emily who struggled with reconciling her difference from her peers, and her story taught me …

Self-Awareness Is the Key to Unleashing Your Potential

The young Prince knocked the poisoned arrow on his bow, pulled back the heavy string and, for a brief moment, held his breath while aiming before shooting it towards his brother’s killer. The arrow Paris released entered the only vulnerable part of his body, the heel, and led to death of the swift-footed, godlike warrior, Achilles. Although Homer, the legendary Greek poet, doesn’t tell us about how Achilles died in Iliad, one of my all-time favorite books, later ancient Greek myths describe the scene similar to the above. Achilles’ heel was his only weak spot because that’s where his mother, Thetis, held him while dipping his body into the river Styx to make him immortal. Had he known this about …