The best leaders are the ones who fully understand their own capabilities, talents, and skills. Compensation and delegation allow them to fill in for the areas in which they lack.
● PEOPLE OR PROCESS: Very few people are equal in both realms. Most find themselves either dealing with personalities and emotions, or numbers and data. While complete leadership means stepping into both areas, their strength will lean in one direction or the other. Bringing in associates who complement their tendencies will complete the team.
● LEADERSHIP STYLE: Like playing good cop/bad cop, it is helpful sometimes to have a person close to you on the team who has the opposite style of management. If you are the firm and impersonal one, then find a manager to buffer your style by being more personable.
● HONEST FEEDBACK: Allow those close to you, to be honest. While it isn’t always comfortable, it will help you grow. If your hardline leadership has become too aggressive, then someone should be able to reign you back in and bring you back a notch. Good leadership means being able to admit when you are wrong and fix it. On the other hand, if you are letting your team walk over you, then someone should be able to point that out, and you should step it up. If you are micro-managing, learn to step back. Once you have surrounded yourself with the right people, you should allow them to lead.
● SELF-CONTROL: Knowing that you are weak in one area simply means that you should work hard to bring that into tighter control. If you are one who runs close on deadlines, try scheduling things a day ahead or even two. This gives you a workable deadline while allowing you shine.
● CONSTANT RE-ASSESSMENT: Just when you think you have it figured out, you may find something else that needs improvement. Consistent personal growth is a goal, not only at work but in your personal life. The changes that you make toward better leadership will likely affect the rest of your life as well. Letting go of micro-management at work will relieve stress, allow relaxation at home, and possibly free up family time. This can bring about a more relaxed disposition and a better attitude ready to take on the new day. The same release of control may free up your family at home to make decisions.
● LEARN TO BREATHE: Today’s environments seem to warrant the high-stress leadership styles. If you see this in yourself, then you must step back and distance yourself. While we have more conveniences than ever, we tend to use them to crowd even more into our days, set higher goals, and do even more. While the original goal of machination was to make our days easier, we have reset that. In return, we have a society that can’t relax. Make it a goal to take an afternoon or evening with the family every few weeks. Dump the technology and breathe.
If you don’t see yourself in any of these examples, ask others for their input. Sometimes we really don’t know ourselves at all. Self-awareness may not begin with personal reflection, but may start with feedback from those you trust. In any case, knowledge is the first step to growth through personal awareness.
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