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Thread: Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness...

  1. #1
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness...

    I can be a really cold-hearted-sonofa...

    Without getting too far in to the details, I would identify this quality as both my greatest strength and greatest weakness. Being this way has given me the ability to look at things more objectively, and to have the good sense to go after something I feel I'm worth without being too self conscious. On the other hand, this type of attitude has had serious negative impacts on my more personal relationships.

    Similarly, we as a planning profession have the ability to be involved in so many important projects without having to claim responsibility for past and even recent mistakes. After all we only offer options, it is the elected officials who ultimately decide one way or the other. On the flip side, we must constantly deal with the frustration of having little if any control over what will inevitably turn into a train wreck occurring right in front of our eyes. I think one cyburbian actually coined this concept of Planning as "responsibility without authority".

    Any other examples out there of a subject's greatest strength/weakness being the same?
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think aiming to please can help and hurt you in our profession too!

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HomerJ View post
    Any other examples out there of a subject's greatest strength/weakness being the same?
    One of my strengths is that I tend to see all sides of an issue. I make a great mediator....but this can become a problem when I have to play the role of an advocate. Sometimes I have to pretend when it comes to being an advocate
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    One of my strengths is that I tend to see all sides of an issue. I make a great mediator....but this can become a problem when I have to play the role of an advocate. Sometimes I have to pretend when it comes to being an advocate
    I can definitely relate to this one. A lot of decisions ultimately come down to preference, so it's really hard for me to come out and say my preference is the best one. I often find myself detached from situations because I don't have don't have strong feelings one way or the other.

    Somewhat related, as people get more optimistic, I start sounding more pessimistic and vice versa. This is good when people start feeling pessimistic about something as I can point out all the ways something can go right. What can be somewhat problematic is that I can be a buzzkill if things appear to be going well.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think aiming to please can help and hurt you in our profession too!
    Related to this. I'm a generally positive, personable guy. This is good in so many ways professionally and personally, but it also makes you an easy target when things go badly. I get accused of "not having warned" an applicant of things, or "leading people down the prim-rose path".

    Also, when you're the office good-fella, it's hard to get taken seriously when an obvious opportunity for you to lead comes up. There are too many people who view my "type" as great, but not leadership material. Those people pull the levers. It's been my Achilles heel throughout my professional life.

    And see, then my good and affable nature kicks in and I think "Well, they're probably right. It takes a firmer hand to lead..." I can't win for losing.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Being this smart and sexy certainly has it's downsides.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    My point blank, blunt honesty. I've learned over the years to soften it and be diplomatic. However, the standing rule with me, don't ask if you don't want to know.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    My cruel, dry, sardonic wit has not always gained me friends.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #9
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think aiming to please can help and hurt you in our profession too!
    My wife is fond if citing the semi-popular toilet sign "We aim to please. You aim, too, please" But I think bad aim is really just a weakness...

    I'm a pretty accommodating person. Which helps to gain people's allegiance and can garner support from unexpected places. On the other hand, it can also get one in trouble or lead to situations where people try to take advantage of you...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    My greatest strength is being "nice" and listening to people. Sometimes people perceive me to be "weak" because of this and then get upset when they try to take advantage of my being nice and find a tiger instead of a pussycat.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    One of my strengths is that I am a very laid back, uncomplicated person. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy. But this can be bad, because I often find myself unmotivated. I learned this the hard way about myself early in my college years and are constantly trying new ways to motivate myself.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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