Being a good leader is not about having all the strengths and none of the weaknesses that cause others to fail at it. Rather it is about knowing how to leverage strengths and not get too caught up with fixing a weakness which could be self-paralyzing. Because like it or not, there is no such thing as a perfect leader. And if you aspire to be one, or find yourself in a situation where you have to step up to the role, it helps to have a realistic view of what being one entails.
Self-awareness and the ability to make objective self-assessments are among the traits that can prove handy if you want to become a leader. The sooner you identify where your strengths lie, the sooner you can focus on building a leadership plan that makes the best use of what you excel at and allows you to use your weaknesses to become a source of information that will help you identify the people you need on your team.
While it is wise to work on your weaknesses, obsessing on turning them into strengths not only slows you down. It may also prevent you from tapping into the strengths of the people around you. Weakness may seem like a liability that makes you vulnerable. But that vulnerability does not make you a failure as a leader. Instead, it helps you lead others in a way that gives them a chance to explore, discover, and use their own talents and skills instead of trying to do everything by yourself.
In the end, having a weakness as a leader does not make you a bad one. It is how you choose to deal with it that will define the kind of leader you are.
Anyone can lead, if needed. But not everyone can be effective in doing the job that needs to be done. And in today’s complex and sometimes chaotic business or public governance environment, effectiveness is one of the traits leaders need. Leading a team or a group of people with different personalities, work styles, and mindsets is one of the major challenges of taking on a leadership role. Knowing how to develop leadership skills in yourself and others can help you produce the results you want.
Sharing a clear vision. Setting a direction and communicating a clear and compelling vision are usually at the top end of a leadership skills list. How strongly you believe in the vision often translates to the way you communicate it to your people, which can inspire them to achieve collective goals. You have to make the vision resonate in your actions as well as in the decisions you make.
Growth-focused leadership. The best leaders are those who maximize and tap into people’s potentials. The ability to recognize and acknowledge every member’s unique talents and contributions helps in building strong relationships. You also have to provide a suitable environment that would support creativity and innovation. If you want to deliver the best results as a leader, you have to make room for the continual growth of your people and motivate them to contribute more to the team.
Decisive but flexible. Adaptability and flexibility are among the important leadership qualities that you have to cultivate to successfully lead a team. There are times that call on “situational leadership” wherein you choose a style that works best for your team. It is important that you know how to read and understand your team so you can adjust your leadership style to what would generate the best possible outcomes.
Integrity-driven. Integrity builds trust. And trustworthiness is essential in cultivating effective leadership skills. Your team will follow and support your leadership if they know you are worthy of their trust. Being honest and making the right decisions regardless of your personal feelings can make people trust you more. When it comes to integrity and trustworthiness, your actions will speak more than your words do.
Leading people is both challenging and rewarding. You will have to harness effective leadership skills to motivate people to work together while inspiring them to develop their optimum potential. Constantly improving yourself as a leader can help you provide the leadership that can drive a team to cooperate and perform at their best.