Being a good leader requires consistent self-evaluation of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Born leaders are rare. Most individuals have to invest time and effort in learning leadership skills.
A classic example is Samuel Walton, who grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He did many odd jobs through his early youth. In the 1940s, after serving in the military during the Second World War, he took a loan and bought a small grocery shop. With sheer grit and determination, he went on to build the giant supermarket chain that we know today as Walmart.
The good news is that leadership is a choice. If you are open-minded and willing to work hard, you can lead a team that goes on to achieve great things.
Essential team leader strengths:
These are the essential qualities of a good team leader:
Leadership is about being people-centric and not being self-centered. People-centric leaders value and motivate their subordinates to achieve higher goals. Their leadership strengths ensure the organization’s success.
Take the example of Rajeev, a floor manager in a big manufacturing company. He had 40 workers under him, and all of them respected and trusted him. Why so? Because he considered them as people and not as mere mechanical resources. He was genuinely concerned for their physical and mental health.
Self-awareness is another key strength of a leader. The process of self-awareness begins by questioning yourself. What are your motivators? How do you react to certain situations? Are you empathetic?
Keep in mind that self-aware leaders are more innovative. They are better decision-makers and build stronger relationships.
Educator and author Stephen Covey said, “Self-awareness involves deep personal honesty. It comes from asking and answering hard questions.”
Great leaders always have a long-term vision. They have their eyes on the future as exponential gains can be made only when your vision is long-term and strategic. Former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, for instance, could take calculated risks based on his projections for the future. Under his leadership, the Tata Group completed various high-profile acquisitions.
Prioritization is one of the most invaluable strengths of a manager. Have you noticed how efficiently you can handle tasks once you put them down on a to-do list in order of priority? Prioritization leads to better strategic solutions and improves morale and overall productivity.
Strategizing effectively is one of the key leadership strengths. A strategic leader has to be open-minded, courageous, insightful, accountable, and inspiring. This is true in every field, from business to sports.
In elite-level sport, strategic coaching is as important as physical conditioning and practice. Badminton star P. V. Sindhu’s coach Pullela Gopichand recognizes this—that is why he lays so much emphasis on mental conditioning and big picture planning.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of a manager?
The strengths and weaknesses of a manager greatly influence company performance. No one is perfect and there is always scope for improvement. A good leader spots the strengths of his people and builds on them. A new manager in a company, for instance, can sometimes tap hidden talents in underperforming employees and bring out the best in them. A good leader also helps people develop their weaknesses so they can deliver their best. Familiarizing yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of leaders can help you immensely in your journey to self-made leadership.
Strengths of a good team leader
Let’s explore some good team leader strengths. Good managers and leaders will do the following:
- Identify and make the most of each employee’s strength
- Mentor the team for mutual benefit
- Acknowledge and reward excellent performance and improvements
- Use emotional intelligence to navigate tough situations
- Appreciate differences
- Empathize and be helpful to everyone
Common weaknesses of managers
There are some commonly noticed weaknesses in managers. Often, managers tend to act as ringmasters rather than guides. A manager may not trust their employees and make decisions without consulting them. They may not be good listeners. They may make populist decisions that are not beneficial for a company in the long run. Here are some other common weaknesses of managers:
Some ways to to overcome weaknesses and build leadership strengths are:
- Trust your employees
- Give them space and let them balance and manage their work according to their skill sets
- Be honest and true to your core principles
- Motivate your team by giving constructive feedback
- Define realistic goals and deadlines and provide your full support
- Remove the word ‘favoritism’ from your dictionary and be fair and transparent
Harappa’s Leading Self course is a great resource to begin the journey of honing your leadership strengths. It will also help you identify and manage your mental blocks. Through the Balcony and Dance Floor Framework explained in this course, you will learn to balance looking at the big picture with seeing the finer details of a work-related project or situation. Developing leadership skills is a long journey and there is no shortcut to the destination. If you want to create exemplary milestones on the way, strap yourself in for the long haul!
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