Summary of Fear Your Strengths

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Fear Your Strengths book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Most leadership books focus either on eliminating weaknesses or improving strengths. Leadership development experts Robert E. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser take a different approach. They teach leaders how to “dial back” their strengths so they don’t inadvertently sabotage their effectiveness. The authors’ research shows that overplaying strengths is a common leadership problem. Consider the talented, brilliant, articulate boss whose strong presence intimidates and overwhelms everyone in the room – so no one ever offers alternative ideas. With no objective sounding board, such a boss can endanger an organization by exercising his or her unfiltered, unfettered plans, as Jeffrey Skilling did at Enron. This eloquent, evocative book, which includes many compelling references and quotations, captures the corrupting nature of leaders overplaying a strength. getAbstract recommends this novel approach to aspiring leaders, students of leadership, and to thoughtful leaders with the foresight and courage to control their strengths and refocus their abilities.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why many leaders overdo their strengths,
  • How this can undermine their effectiveness and
  • How to “modulate” your strengths to avoid self-sabotage.

About the Authors

Robert B. Kaiser is president of Kaiser Leadership Solutions, a provider of assessment tools. Robert E. Kaplan is president of Kaplan DeVries Inc., a company that specializes in assessing leaders.



Beware of Yourself
Sometimes, people can be their own worst enemies. Consider Ahab, the obsessed ship’s captain in Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby-Dick. Ahab has one mission in life: to capture and kill the great white whale he has been chasing. He will let nothing deter him...

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Todd Myrick 4 years ago
    I took the Strength Finder 2.0 assessment and found it very enlightening... It felt like I finally figured out my "super powers".  This book is a very good supplement to it.

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category