Strengths are Your Focus Not Weaknesses

There are lots of leaders and managers who do their best to assess weaknesses of a person and come up with training plans to help them with those weaknesses. While I am a big fan of helping people improve on areas they lack, I am a bigger fan of helping the person take his strengths to the next level. There is no such thing as the one and only authority on an area and having said that, leaders should realize that boundaries to push a person’s strengths are endless.
Experience in Point

I worked with a number of developers who talk too much theories but are inferior in solving actual complex problems; on the other hand, some people could not express themselves well but are always right on target on coming up with solutions on complex tasks. From both types of people we can clearly see that some are good communicators while others are more analytically inclined. In handing out tasks it would be best to put the good communicators on the frontline talking with client and end-users, while analytically inclined folks should be placed in coming up with actual designs.
Some managers would argue that poor communicators should undergo rigid English courses and be put more in front of the client to improve their communication skills. While I agree that everyone should learn to communicate well and would advise poor communicators to go through training; I would disagree of changing his job responsibilities, and instead, allow him to continue his analytical type of work.
Jack of All Trades and Master of None
Making the person work on different skill sets is a great way to make the person a well-rounded contributor, however, these should be considered as side skills to develop and always make it a point to put the bulk of a person’s work that would improve and build on his strengths until he become a master of that area.
Performance Appraisals
The company should value different skill sets across the workforce by providing formal matrices that would take into account the responsibilities and tasks done by people. The last thing managers want to see are people requesting for job transfer within the organization which they feel are given more weight in ratings.

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