Remembering Not to Oversharpen Your S.A.W.

During lunch today with one of my mentors – Don Adamis, senior vice president at The Northern Trust Corporation, the topic of S.A.W. (Strength As Weakness) came up. For instance, do you receive…

  • great reviews for your ability to make decisions quickly? Terrific! But…
    • remember to include others in the decision-making process (as appropriate), or you risk engaging and gaining buy-in from your team members
  • accolades on the data you provide to support conclusions? Outstanding! But…
    • ensure you don’t overwhelm your audience will too much information, or you risk losing them in the details
  • kudos for your strong follow through? Bravo! But…
    •  make sure you know when to let something go vs. checking a box on a to-do list. Otherwise, you risk appearing weak in your ability to see ‘the big picture’  

Isn’t chocolate cake (or in Don’s case, blueberry pie) a great treat at the end of a meal? Do you think that you would perceive chocolate cake differently if it was the only food you could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


While discovering your strengths is important, try a little moderation this week.

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Sandra Schwan

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

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