Why Weakness Unlocks The Strength Within Teams


If you’ve got fifteen minutes, I’d highly suggest you listen to Caroline Casey’s TEDtalk, Looking Past Limits.  Not only is that an intriguing topic for those of us in the coaching field, Casey is also a fabulous storyteller.

A quick rundown of her story: She was legally blind since birth, though her parents never told her, but rather let her toughen up through battling past road blocks.  She excelled in life, eventually achieving a high profile job where her coworkers never knew her secret.  But that’s not the heart of the story, it’s what happens when she couldn’t hide her blindness anymore.

And that’s where my interest in her story begins…because I believe it can help us with our teams.  It’s a story of belief and vision.  We’ve got to believe in ourselves and combine that belief with a vision that is bigger than us.  Ignoring the obvious irony of a blind person talking about vision, let’s look at how vision is sometimes restricted and how we can free it up…and watch our teams soar!

Teams with lack of vision…

a)      Have players and coaches who are afraid to ask for help.  (Everyone is afraid to admit they’re not perfect…isn’t it exhausting pretending to be perfect?)

b)      Have team members who are afraid to be themselves because they don’t believe in who they truly are. (Isn’t putting on an act tiring?)

c)      Have coaches and players who don’t understand that there is freedom in being true to yourself.

Vision is bigger than us…bigger than anything we can accomplish by ourselves.  Through the power of team, we can release the vision that is waiting within our programs.

Teams with vision…

a)      Have players and coaches who understand their limitations and realize their teammates are there to help them achieve goals. (Everyone knows their role and appreciates what others bring to the table.)

b)      Have team members who acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, they are totally comfortable with who they are in relation to the team. (There’s power in “team”!)

c)      Have coaches and players who understand that there’s freedom in admitting you need help…that it’s okay to admit you can’t do it all alone.

The first title I came up with for this post was, “Why Vision And Belief Will Make Your Team Great”.  I liked that one a lot and think that it would have been good, but this one is closer to the heart of the story.  Once each team member is willing to admit their weaknesses, they’re on their way to becoming a strong and successful team.