The strongest leaders are willing to define and accept reality, and work with it…Do you?
When you are a Senior Leader of a company, your strengths and weaknesses are highlighted in front of a grand audience. Your strengths get a companywide thumbs up, and weaknesses are emphasized in front of them too.
Approaching this idea from a place of curiosity allows you to improve your strengths further, and explore how you can narrow the gaps created by your weaknesses. This will allow you to make a greater impact for your team, the business, and yourself. You will better enjoy your day-to-day work, feel confident in the people who support you, understand the direction you want to take the business, and get to your goals even faster. Excellent!
**quick soap box**
Weakness does not mean fail. It’s just something that’s not a strength. Just like blue is not red.
I’m not implying you need someone to pat you on the back and hold your hand here. What you do need is to move past the idea of having a weakness as a sign that you are a weak person. Strengths and weaknesses are just facts. Strengths can become stronger over time or become less so. Just like how weaknesses can become worse over time or become less of an issue.
**coming down off the box now**
Become an Excelerator in your work. Focus on what you are good at doing and what you like to do.
I’m not good at math. I’ll put that one right out there. I’m not great at math, and I don’t try to be. When I “math” I use a calculator, my fingers, or someone else’s “mathy brain.” I understand the importance numbers play in life and in business. So, I make sure I get it right by using support or tools around me.
Check in with the areas below and determine where you excel, where you could improve, where you might seek support, and where you might place someone else in charge of that role. These prompts will get you started:
- Knowledge | When you become a Senior Leader you don’t suddenly wake up and know everything you need to excel. Unfortunately, this is not the Matrix. What can you ask yourself or those around you to help determine what you know, what you don’t, and what you don’t know that you don’t know (that one is a doozey)
- Communication | You can reflect about how well people follow-through when you delegate something. If it’s less than satisfactory, is this really a “them” problem, or is there room for improvement when you communicate your expectations?
- Focus | Are you susceptible to shiny things? Are you constantly changing what is ‘important’? Does your ‘to-do’ list ever shrink?
- Accountability | Is the culture of your company “do as I say, not as I do?” Do you foster a “lead by example” type of culture? Are you able to define the difference between accountability and responsibility?
- Celebration | Some leaders celebrate the small wins as well as the big. Some reserve celebration for when a massive goal is achieved. Some celebrate with the top of the hierarchy, and some 1:1 with their team. Etc.
- Planning | Does planning involve strategy and intention, or the role of some dice? How far in advance do you plan?
- Execution | How do you stay on track, on time, and flexible? Do you follow your plan or change it often? Who does what and when?
It’s emotionally intelligent to honor both your strengths and your weaknesses. Be aware of the areas in which you excel and find ways to work around the areas in which you do not.
Remember that the neck of the bottle (of bourbon) is at the top. If you don’t take the time to optimize your strengths and admit your weakness, you may very well be the reason your business is struggling.
How would your direct reports describe your strengths and weakness with the above prompts?