Do you have your head buried in the sand? Are you the leader who tries to hide their weaknesses so others won’t notice. Even worse, do you actually believe your team doesn’t notice?
Growing up in the Army, I am a product of my environment. I always remember being told leaders don’t admit their weaknesses. Leaders have to be the best in every area every time. If you struggle in a certain area NEVER admit it to your team. Unfortunately, I grew up thinking I had to be perfect. I often remember thinking I could never make the grade. After all, there are too many areas where I am weak.
The fact is we all have areas of strength and weakness. We are naturally gifted in certain areas and weak in others. My strengths include leadership, determination, and focus. I am a self starter who requires little supervision and can be left alone to accomplish the mission. It is important to know your areas of natural strength and weakness.
My mentor John Maxwell (or Big Mac as we affectionately refer to him) says areas of strength (giftedness) are hard wired along with our not so gifted areas. My hard wired weaknesses revolve around my slightly introverted personality. I am in the IT field and my team joked frequently I loved the machines and only tolerated the customers.
(To help determine your strengths and weaknesses check out Marcus Buckingham’s StrengthsFinder 2.0.)
John also teaches we have weaknesses of choice. In other words we can choose to improve in these areas or choose not to improve. Personally, I am a terrible marksman and the Army requires me to qualify with an M4 yearly. I always joke with my troops when I go to the range. I tell them the safest place is in front of my target! I also readily admit I need all the training and help available because it’s a weakness.
Am I wrong for admitting my weaknesses? Absolutely not! If I did, they could simply look at my target and see the truth for themselves. When leaders admit their weaknesses and commit to improvement:
1. You earn the respect of your team
2. You build trust
3. You realize what they knew all along. WE HAVE WEAKNESSES AND NEED TO IMPROVE!
Do you have your head in the sand? Do you know fellow leaders who have their head buried in the sand?
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