Letter #9 – Weakness plan

Posted on 10. Nov, 2011 by in Leadership

Letter #9 – Weakness plan
From: Brett Trapp – Nov 10, 2011
To: Brett Trapp – Nov 10, 2001

Dear Brett,

How did that make you feel yesterday? Talking about weaknesses and all.

You don’t want to hear this. You don’t. But it’s true: You have weaknesses. Quite a few of them. You’re going to learn all about them in your 20s but let me expedite things:

  • Insecurity around people who intimidate you
  • Average relational capacity
  • Easily distracted
  • Propensity for procrastination
  • Only moderate athletic ability
  • Propensity for belly fat
  • Propensity for double chin fat
  • Horrible with tools
  • Failure to finish projects
  • Valuing things over people
  • Valuing your work over people
  • Communicating terribly with your friends/family
  • Emotionally withdrawn from people you don’t know
  • Self-absorption
  • Classic workaholism

(This is just a starter list.)

In the next few years you will read some business books that will tell you to gather up all your weaknesses, lock them in the attic, and ignore them. Instead, they will suggest, focus only on your strengths, celebrate your strengths, live in your strengths. This, they will say, is the secret to success.

They’re partially right.

Yes, you need to identify your strengths and feed them, water them, grow them. But Brett, you can’t ignore that list up there. You can’t ignore the bumps in the attic. Some weaknesses you must fight. With violence. You need to declare war on them. Some will require a supporting infrastructure built around them. Some will require both help from Above and accountability from friends. But none will be dealt a death blow until death blows on you.

Brett, the quicker you can accept those weaknesses, the better off you’ll be.


Notice that I didn’t say embrace your weaknesses. I said accept them. And there is a difference. Weaknesses aren’t to be hugged. To embrace a weakness is to agree with it and admit defeat. To accept a weakness, on the other hand, is to recognize that it does, in fact, exist. When you make this admission, then you’re able to make a weakness plan.

Fight it?

Build infrastructure around it?

Get help?

But my gosh, don’t think you’re weakness-free. That’s a blindfold sewn by arrogance, a noose tied by pride.

Know the list. Then get to work.


P.S. Sorry. Wasn’t kidding about the belly fat part.

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