Coaching Rule #4 – Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength


Focusing on skills we are good at makes sense. It makes us feel better about ourselves, and helps us when we are asked the “Tell me about yourself” question. But if we aspire to be more competent, productive and rounded people, it equally makes plenty of sense to firstly understand, then work on our weaknesses too.

In the Netflix series The Playbook, tennis coach Mouratoglou realised that his shyness, perceived by many in the cut-and-thrust world of professional sport as a weakness, was actually a strength. It allowed him to create room for reflection and to read people well.

In the work I do as a CultureTalk practitioner, I focus on the 12 archetypes that show up as personality in individuals, and as culture in broader groups. Focusing on the individual, the archetypes are unconscious storylines that influence the way we look at the world. We have the capacity for all 12 archetype patterns, and each archetype has a strength and a shadow, or blind spot, that can impact our effectiveness if we aren’t aware of it.

Understanding your latent archetype, or the one you are least likely to ordinarily relate to, can be extremely powerful. In my own case, the REVOLUTIONARY archetype, characterised by challenging the status quo and breaking convention, is not my usual MO. But when faced with adversity, I have been able to apply the main REVOLUTIONARY strengths of being bold, resourceful and innovative to achieve success. On reflection, the favourite REVOLUTIONARY phrase “there has to be a better way” actually ties in very closely with one of my dominant archetypes, the MAGICIAN, which aims to dream big, create a new vision, uplift and transform.

Next week I round out this series with a look at reflective practice, framed under a rule put forward by basketball Hall of Fame player and coach, Dawn Staley.


Cadence Leadership Advisory is a leadership development business specialising in coaching people, team leadership and development, strategy review and organisational culture.

Its Founder, Lewis Williams, has over 25 years of leadership experience gained through senior roles at NAB, HSBC and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. A Graduate of AGSM@UNSW, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and an Approved Advisor with Advisory Board Centre, he instigated and drove development of the 2021 paper “Organisational Culture: Beyond the Intangible” with other alumni of the AICD. He is also an accredited CultureTalk practitioner, a training and development platform that activates the framework of personality archetypes for the growth of leaders, teams, brands and cultures.

FOUNDER: Lewis Williams


MOBILE: 61 (0) 477 371 665

LINKEDIN: cadenceleadershipadvisory/

Related Posts

Enter your name and email address below to get the latest Cadence news and advice sent directly to your inbox.