Small Business | Coaching | Consulting | Positioning Systems | with |Doug Wick

Strategic Discipline Blog

Are Your Leadership Liabilities Canceling Your Strengths?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Apr 4, 2022

Leadership strengths that create the conditions for scaleTo scale your organization you must scale leadership. Yours and your teams!

Scaling Leadership authors Robert Anderson and William Adams share these leadership strengths required to create conditions for scale.

Canceling Effect

If you follow the NFL, you’re probably familiar with Urban Meyer, the successful college coach (two NCAA championship titles) who failed to succeed in coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars. This recent Athletic article The most toxic environment I’ve ever been a part of’: Inside Urban Meyer’s disastrous year with Jaguars reveals the causes of his downfall.

Meyer’s meltdown in the NFL can possibly be attributed to working with men instead of college students. Several qualities making him effective in college didn’t translate well to the NFL. In many ways, his success in college hid his weaknesses, while many of his strengths turned into major weaknesses.

In Adams, and Anderson’s Scaling Leadership an entire chapter is dedicated to the Canceling Effect. It’s when a leader’s liabilities cancel out his/her strengths. It means leadership cannot scale. It means this leader is hurting rather than growing your organization! 

Adams and Anderson surveyed more than 150,000 leaders around the world to discover the difference between effective and ineffective leadership. In Solving the Leadership Puzzle – Leadership Circle Profile (360) – San Antonio ScaleUp Summit I shared their results revealing the difference between effective and ineffective leaders whether they are reactive or creative. Visit that blog to learn more.CREATIVE & REACTIVE LEADERSHIP CIRCLE PROFILES

Leaders Bring the Weather

Jim Geiger, the CEO of LiquidWeb, a Leadership Circle client, shared his insight regarding leaders: “Leaders bring the weather.”

When a great leader walks into the room, everyone is on notice, and everyone notices—the energy is palpable.

The tone, mood, presence, focus, and behavior of the leader are the weather in any organization—a force of nature. And everyone who works there can feel it, see it, experience it, and describe how it impacts them and those around them.

Think about your own leadership. What kind of weather do you bring? Are you aware of it?

Businesswoman standing with umbrella keeping orange arrow concept on background-1Do you know how it impacts others in ways you intend or don’t intend?

Think about how leaders affect you in your own job.

Do the effect leaders have on you make you feel good, bad, or somewhere in between?


What do these leaders do that makes you feel this way?

Reactive Leadership

This graph (from the book) reveals how the Top 10 High Reactive Strengths are offset by the Top 10 High-Reactive Liabilities.

The Canceling Effect 7.1 Scale Leadership-1You can be very driven and passionate, yet if you’re ineffective in your interaction style (the graph here reveals a 61 for strength and a 63 for liability) you are unable, or unknowingly doing more bad than good, since you are unable to communicate your drive and passion to your team.

When you average the scores for the top 10 Strengths and top 10 Liabilities, the ratio is 1:1. Highly Reactive leaders cancel themselves out.

Do you know a leader like this?

I do.

I’m sure you know or have known several. The question is, are you not achieving the results you feel you should because your strengths are canceled by your liabilities?

Are you aware of how your liabilities cancel your strengths?

The Canceling Effect with Non-Differentiating Strengths Circled-1You may pat yourself on the back for being results-focused (30). At the same time, your micromanaging (33) cancels this strength/effectiveness.

Imagine what you can accomplish when you change your liability into a strength.

Effective Leadership Begins with Self-Awareness

Listening & Composure - Scaling LeadershipTo change and achieve the results you want, YOU must become aware and then take appropriate action!

The authors define self-leadership as creating outcomes that matter most.

Self-leadership is the lifelong stance of continually focusing on the desired future and—amid the current realities of our lives and organizations— acting (individually and with others) to bring that vision into being. This stance is foundational to leadership.

Leadership is the deployment of self into circumstances. As a leader, YOU are your primary asset. How you show up from moment to moment is your leadership impact.

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • When you lead, who shows up?
  • Which self do you deploy?

Begin your journey to become a better leader. Start with their free leadership self-assessment here:

(The assessment link is just below the Mcdonalds' testimonial)

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact on the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M+) businesses Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

NEXT BLOG – Leadership: The Inner Journey

Leadership is a crucible. The moment you start to work on your effectiveness as a leader, you begin to improve your effectiveness as a human being. Next blog, the inner journey of leadership.

Topics: Leadership Training, Leadership DNA, Mastering Leadership, Leadership Circle Profile, Scaling Leadership

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action

Subscribe to Email Updates

Click below to Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Appointment NOW: 

Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

(BRAND PROMISE GUARANTEE): We will refund all compensation if our disciplined coaching and proprietary tools fail to meet your expectations.

Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

Latest Posts

Browse by Tag

see all