The chief executive who knows his strengths and weaknesses as a leader is likely to be far more effective than the one who remains blind to them. He also is on the road to humility — that priceless attitude of openness to life that can help a manager absorb mistakes, failures, or personal shortcomings.
– John Adair, Leadership author
A leader should be aware of his strengths and weaknesses so he can maximize his effectiveness and efficiency, while at the same time, deal with whatever negative effects his weaknesses can cause.
Conduct a personal Leadership SWOT Analysis. This can help you identify your blind spots and do something about them. To do this exercise, please read and go through the article “Evaluate Yourself,” which was also published on this blog, then go back to this post and complete the rest of the article.
After going through your personal leadership SWOT Analysis, you can use this knowledge to enrich your leadership.
Capitalize on your strengths. You can achieve great things with the skills, talents, knowledge, and strengths that you have. Just like muscles being worked out in every exercise session, the more you use your strengths, the more you become proficient with them.
Deal with your weaknesses. It’s not easy to deal with weaknesses, especially the ones with accompanying difficult emotions. To mitigate the negative effects of your weaknesses, you can practice the art of effective delegation. If you’re not comfortable doing certain tasks or jobs, then ask one of your colleagues or team members to take charge, learn how it is done and hopefully next time, you can do by yourself. But don’t make this as an excuse to delegate just about everything. If you do that, you’ll sabotage your own learning process.
Seize Opportunities. Opportunities can easily disappear if not seized at the right time. An effective leader possesses the foresight and the power of anticipation to steer an organization in the right direction. If you don’t seize the opportunities that come your way, somebody else is bound to do it. On the other hand, don’t grab ALL opportunities that come. Sometimes, you have to let go of the good, in favor of the BEST.
Deal with Threats. There will always be things beyond your control—the stock market, the reactions of people, and the weather. Threats can come from within the organization or it can also be outside. Learn how to spot these threats and prepare the necessary contingent plans to deal with them. A good leader is a prudent leader, he can spot a big problem before it occurs. But a good leader is not a prophet nor a soothsayer, if you encounter any unexpected event or problem, deal with them with resolve and decisiveness. It also helps if you hone your leadership habits and reflexes.