Last week, I asked you which of the 9 Achiever Capabilities you viewed as your strongest, your weakest, and the one that would make the biggest difference to your progress if you focused on it right now.

Do you remember what you said?

Well, I was fascinated by the responses (thanks to all who participated in the survey!) and wanted to share the findings with you here so you can see how it compares with your own answers.

Strongest Capabilities

Communication was seen as the strongest capability, with almost one third of respondents citing that as their biggest strength, and Decision Making came in close behind at 27%.

Strongest capability

Communication was seen as the strongest capability

Interestingly, these are capabilities that we practice and use every day, whatever our career stage and whatever our role. And practice is an important part of making us good at (and confident in) what we do. So keep practicing!

Weakest Capabilities

When it came to weakest capabilities, the answers were more evenly spread across categories, with roughly equal proportions (15-20%) citing the following as weakest:

  • Stakeholder Management
  • Vision and Strategy
  • Influence
  • Creating New Business
  • Building Your Network
Weakest capability

Weakest capabilities were more evenly spread across categories

This makes sense because we’re all different, and the “how” of becoming great at these capabilities seems less straightforward than Communicating and Decision Making, and can be a multi-step endeavor. For example, when you open your mouth to speak or write an email, you’re immediately communicating. It feels simple and straightforward (although there’s an art and science to doing it well).

On the other hand, managing your stakeholders requires first figuring out who they are, then developing an approach for each one and then acting on it – it’s not a “one step and you’re done” activity. And developing your vision and strategic capability involves carving out the time and mindspace to think beyond the daily firefighting and “must do’s” – something that doesn’t occur naturally.

Sometimes, what we’re weakest at isn’t worth investing huge amounts of time in because we can get hugely better results from investing that time in building up our strengths. I’m all for leaning into our strengths rather than shoring up weaknesses.

However, it’s also the case that we often put a weaker capability into the “too difficult box” and underinvest when that capability could become pivotal to our success if we were to nurture it even just a little bit.

So, don’t ignore these areas just because they are a little harder to get at. And who knows, one of those capabilities could even become a strength that differentiates you from others who were “too busy” to invest.

What Moves the Needle

The Capability that is seen to most “move the needle” right now is Vision and Strategy, which was chosen by 27% of you, followed by Influence (15%) and Building Your Network (15%).

Capability that most moves the needle

Vision and Strategy is seen to most “move the needle” right now

What’s interesting is that the Capability that most people selected as “moving the needle” was not their weakest capability. In fact, 73% of you chose a different Capability to focus on than your weakest. Good for you!

That’s a really important thing to do: focus your energies on what will most move the needle for you right now and in the future, not where you are most lacking.

While these may be the same capability, don’t automatically assume that they are.

What Will You Do?

While these results are interesting and instructive, it all boils down to this:

What will you actually do when it comes to developing your own capability set, and what investment are you prepared to make in yourself?

Choose one simple step you could take to get started. Yes, just one. And now, go do that.

I’m Here To Help

As you take action, I am here to help.

Based on the results of this survey, I will be writing on the top three areas that people have said will most move the needle for their career success:

  • Vision & Strategy
  • Influence
  • Building Your Network

So, stay tuned! And if there are others areas of interest to you, just leave a comment and let me know.

In the meantime, know that I’m rooting for you, so just keep going!