In a follow-up to this blog post, Dr. Cem Kaner emailed me this:
I tried to post this to your blog, but I get an error message.
Peter Drucker provides deep wisdom for managers in a short book called "The Effective Executive."
An executive is someone who is responsible for the value of his own time. Most knowledge workers are (or should be) executives under Drucker's definition.
Drucker made the point forcefully that no executive will do everything well, and that many managers fail because they try to do too much "acceptably" rather than doing fewer things very well.
It has been decades since I had a job so simple that I could do all of it well, or so limited that I could find time to do all of it well. I have had to prioritize. And that includes not spending time getting better at things that I won't do.
I don't want to work on my weaknesses. I want to work on my ability to meet my strategic plan, whatever that is. Sometimes that requires fixing weaknesses, sometimes building on strength, often it requires developing a new strength in an area that wasn't seen previously as relevant.
I think it's interesting that my original post only offered two options: Work on your strengths, or work on your weaknesses. This is just two choices, a dilemma. Dr. Kaner is offering a third option; work on the things that map onto your goals (or strategy).
Jerry Weinberg calls this the "Rule of Three"; that when you feel limited to one or two options, you haven't thought things through enough.
Thanks for the insight, Dr. Kaner. Does anybody have a fourth?
Schedule and Events
March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email: Matt.Heusser@gmail.com