No, that’s not clickbait.

I was the head of marketing and strategy for a $4.3B business unit in my 30s and then… becoming more successful became more difficult… much more difficult. Greater effort was not translating into greater success.

I read a lot of personal development books, listened to tapes, watched numerous videos, went to a lot of seminars (Tony Robbins et al)… Then, “bad things” started happening, one after another. I knew I had strengths, MIT credentials, a great network, extensive experiences… but something was pulling me down. Becoming more successful wasn’t coming easy to me anymore – it had become a lot more difficult.

In your prime earning years, you can become more successful if you build on your strengths, right? That’s traditional thinking.

In your younger years, your strengths and weaknesses increase rapidly. Most of us rely heavily on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. With the strengths growing rapidly, who cares about the weaknesses? As you get older, your strengths increase SLOWLY… and your weaknesses start catching up (you’ve ignored them all your life). Some weaknesses hurt you more than others.

Most of the people at your level got there propelled by their strengths. Your success is based on the net of your strengths, less your weaknesses. That net sum becomes smaller as most people get older – a big reason why most people struggle to become MORE successful mid-career and later.

After a major business debacle, I introspected and had a few epiphanies. Most important one… that to become more successful, particularly after you’ve been out of the college a few years, reducing your weaknesses helps you more than if you only focused increasing your strengths – see the graphic above.

I have researched this, interviewed over a hundred people, hired two psychologists and leveraged my experiences and introspection, and identified three important factors:
1.    You must have a mindset to become more successful (money is the most widely used metric).
2.    You must identify and mitigate your “silent killers of success” (my phrase for a person’s known and unknown weaknesses)
3.    You must use your intelligence, smartness and accomplishments to enable greater success.

We have developed three assessments, one for each factor. They help you identify your weaknesses (known and unknown) and your hidden strengths. From my decades of experience (Boeing, Lucent, VC and 5 startups), extensive research, and the help of 2 psychologists, we’ve developed assessments for three areas that are most important to business leaders.
1.     Business is about money – revenues, profits… A business leader’s relationship with money could enable or disable business success. Find out your relationship with money and business from this assessment: “Are you wired to succeed in business?” at: (81% certainty based on ~ 1000 test takers).
2.     Everybody has hidden strengths and weaknesses (which they often hide). You can find out how 20 different ‘silent killers of success’ enable or disable your success by taking this assessment:
3.     People who are aware of their intelligence, smartness and accomplishments have certain behaviors – behave in enabling or disabling ways. You can find out how ‘smartness’ affects you by taking this assessment of 16 factors:

The more weaknesses (known and hidden) you identify and mitigate, the more successful you could become. I am living proof of this approach. The best years, and greater successes are ahead…