How Leaders Deal With Weaknesses

How do you personally handle & compensate for your weaknesses?


We're all human and have weak areas that we have to intentionally offset in our leadership. Olympic Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross talks about how she manages her own weaknesses and how sometimes our greatest strengths can also be our greatest challenges.

Linda: You know, when I think about what you do and when I put on the headphones and I start running, and anyone who works out and everything, you're focused, you're clearing your mind, and all I'm thinking about is, "What am I going to have to eat after I run this two miles," right?

Sanya: Right.

Linda: I mean, it's crazy. So I want you to make us all feel at home and think about what are some of your weaknesses if you want to let that out with us, to let us know you're not superhuman.

Sanya: Right.

Linda: You have to go to the cookie jar once in a while or something. How do you deal with that and what are your weaknesses?

Sanya: My weaknesses, I would say, well, if we're talking about diet, I love purple Skittles and pizza and ice cream. But I do have a cheat day and I think that that's what keeps you going. I eat clean throughout the week and then on Saturdays or Sundays I have a cheat day where I eat some pizza, some ice cream, and that curbs my desire for a little while and then I push through for the next week. But I would say my other weaknesses would probably be . . . and I think your weaknesses sometimes are also your strengths, right . . .

Linda: Yeah.

Sanya: . . . is I am a huge multitasker. Even though I'm one of the best in the world at track, I want to be doing a million things at once. I want to have the business, I want to have the show, I want to express myself in many ways, not just on the track. So I think sometimes that's a weakness as well as a strength because in order to be the best, you do need to focus on one thing at a time and I have a hard time doing that. I'm kind of all over the place at times. So I think that's kind of my weakness.

Linda: That is truly, truly amazing. I'm glad to hear that you like purple Skittles. I mean, that's another great takeaway.

Sanya: The purple bag, the purple bag. I'm not that bougie. You don't have to take out the purple ones out the bag. You know, it's funny, I went to an appearance and they asked me my rider, which I'm not really used to, just need some sneakers, a track, and so I said purple Skittles and they went through and took out all the . . . I said they may think I'm Mariah Carey or someone. I'm like, "Oh my God."

Sanya Richards-Ross

The first American woman to do so in 28 years, and only the 2nd in history, Sanya Richards-Ross became Olympic Champion over 400m at the 2012 Games in London by overtaking the competition in the last 50 meters of the race. The London gam...

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