How a Strength can be a Weakness

Leadership Strength SkyeTeam

When Inner Strength, Doesn’t Mean Doing It Alone

SkyeTeam recently celebrated our 8th birthday. The time has flown by and I can still vividly remember the first few days, weeks and months when I wasn’t sure how the story was going to unfold. I was taking the time to reflect on the journey to successful entrepreneur, the strength that has helped along the way and what, if I am honest with myself, may have potentially hindered us.

To date things have worked out successfully. Though there were times where I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to be successful, and even when success did happen, whether I had the strength to keep going. In each role and organization I have been challenged, learned a heck of a lot and grown both as a leader, a businesswoman and a person. I’ve adopted a pragmatic and ‘trust the process’ approach to work. This is both my strength and my Achilles heel. As I considered the future, the aspirations and goals of the team, I was really focused on understanding “how will I get there?”

I am an independent soul.  As Marshall Goldsmith points out while we are all successful because of many traits, we are also successful in spite of other characteristics. That having a strength in one area can be a weakness when overused. In my case, I am successful both because of, and in spite of, my independence.

Through out my career, I have valued independence, not because I didn’t recognize the importance of working with others, but because I didn’t want to be a burden on others.  I have always been a quick study – let me know what is needed and I will get out of your hair and deliver the results required, minimal supervision, minimal hassle.  The success reinforced this mindset of “get in, get out, get done.”

What I hadn’t appreciated was the impact of this “independent’ mindset and approach on others.  Colleagues and stakeholders who wanted to support and contribute, who may feel left out of the process.  That for them, providing input in the beginning and receiving the final product at the end of the process may not be sufficient.  That I was, essentially, too independent.

It’s ironic in that the underlying premise of Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships” is that the world of work is the biggest team sport any of us will take part in, asking for advice, collaborating with others is what ensures success.

I was reading an article where Richard Branson discussed the importance of asking for helpIt was timely and reminded me that I need to take my own medicine. To recognize that it is ok for me to ask for advice, to ask for help and to involve others.

I have taken steps to change my mindset.  To try not to do it all myself.  Already I am seeing results, a growing team that is thriving and introducing SkyeTeam to new clients and new leaders. Team members who are integral to our future success, together. An advisory board who helped bring my book “cultivate” to life and to the bookshelf of so many and who are on standby for the next books that are already being planned.

I’m glad to know that I am in good company, if Richard Branson sees the need to, and can, ask for help – so can I.  I look forward to proactively reaching out, reconnecting and learning from others.  Stand by your phones I need help!

Morag Barrett
Morag Barrett is sought out speaker and the author of "Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships" and "The Future-Proof Workplace" published by Wiley March 2017. She's also the founder and CEO of, an international HR consulting and leadership development company. Morag’s experience ranges from senior executive coaching to developing leaders and teams across Europe, America and Asia. SkyeTeam works with clients in a range of industries including: Healthcare, Telecoms, Mining, Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology. She's a regular contributor to the American Management Association, and
Morag Barrett


I help organizations, teams & individuals get unstuck | leadership development | Keynote Speaker | Author 'Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships'
RT @pdiscoveryuk: 7 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Coaching - #PeopleDevelopmentNetwork @skyemorag #leadership h… - 2 years ago
Morag Barrett
Morag Barrett