Avoiding These Leadership Weaknesses Equals Better Performance

I came across a study recently which looked at 11,000 leaders across a variety of industries. Several weaknesses were identified which impaired the leaders abilities to fully leverage their capabilities. I found it very intriguing to think of development and performance in terms of highlighting weaknesses, especially given the current trends to focus on positives and strengths. Yet the value of the findings is pretty interesting. So, if you lead a team, an organization, or own a business and have employees, or are part of a team and want to be more effective as a leader, take note. I think you will find some gold dust below.

Before listing the findings, I do want to make a brief comment on self-awareness. It is the one critical key to transforming your style and approach as a leader. Once you can identify some areas for improvement, a behavioural coach can support, challenge, and nudge you into re-finding your leadership sweet spot. Enjoy:

If you are like many of my clients, the discussion around weaknesses is not a fun one to have but it is essential and often enlightening as well. I am surprised how many leaders simply have no deep understanding of the impact their weaknesses have on their teams and organizations. It is this lack of self awareness and resistance to acknowledging weaknesses that prevents good leaders from becoming great ones.

Here is the list in no particular order:

1.Low Resilience. Failure can be a powerful teacher. We’ve heard it a million times. Leaders who learn from their mistakes and make the necessary adjustments can create a culture of resilience and continuous improvement. Self-loathing, giving up, blaming, or losing emotional control are not traits successful leaders model.

2. Rigidity. In a rapidly changing world, adaptability is key. Leaders must be willing to embrace new ideas and lead their teams through change. Being rigid will only hold you back as leader. Developing the skills of agility can allow for smoother transitions and changes with less disruption and upheaval. How rigid is your leadership style?

3.False Facades. Trust is built when leaders lead by example and with authenticity. Being present and engaged with the team encourages respect and commitment. Putting on a “face” to present in a certain way when you really do not believe it will be easily seen by those working with and around you. They may not say anything because you are the “boss” but be rest assured they know when you are genuine and authentic and when you are not.

4.Ambiguity. A leader without a clear direction is just someone in the front of the line. Teams can become disoriented and ineffective if the leader shows lack of clarity and consistency. As a leader you must provide a strong vision and direction with clarity and commitment in order to guide and support your teams to success. Are you really committed to your objectives and goals? Can direct reports clearly articulate your vision and direction?

5.Lack of Energy and Enthusiasm. Energy is contagious, particularly a leader’s energy. Without it  team motivation and morale can suffer. It’s essential for leaders to maintain high levels of enthusiasm to overcome obstacles and inspire their teams. A word of caution… energy and enthusiasm have to be genuine, or others will see right through it.

6.Lone Wolf Syndrome. Embracing teamwork and collaboration can lead to greater achievements than working in isolation. There are of course times for independent work, yet it is critical that leaders foster an environment where collaboration can occur often and when needed without judgement and most importantly with focus and purpose. Meeting for the sake of meeting will just build quiet resentment. Make teamwork meaningful and purposeful and you will be surprised at the level your teams will rise to.

7.Okay is not Okay. Accepting “good enough” can hinder a team’s potential and ability to thrive. Leaders must strive for excellence and encourage their teams to do the same. How many times have you modelled that “okay” or “not bad” was acceptable.

A Bonus Weakness

8.No Need to Develop. Investing in the growth of team members is essential for long-term organizational success. Leaders should focus on developing their teams as much as they focus on achieving goals. When was the last time you took on a development initiative? Did you do it publicly so your team could see you move though the process? Modelling regular and ongoing development makes it essential part of organizational life within your company. If you, as the leader, are not interested in your own development, it is ridiculous for you to expect or subject your teams to be interested in their development. How many times have you supported a team building or leadership development program and had everyone go through it but excluded yourself? Yes, everyone noticed.

There you have it. A nice little list of leadership weaknesses that can undermine organizational and team performance. The path to leadership Excellence is challenging at the best of times. First and foremost, you need to be truly honest with yourself. Becoming aware of limitations, mindset, habits, and weaknesses is sometimes painful but essential. Yet once you move through that stage you will  find it easier to be increasingly dedicated to personal and professional growth.  By addressing these common leadership weaknesses, leaders can create a thriving environment that benefits the entire organization, which WILL result in better performance and engagement.

If you are intrigued to learn more about how we can help your leaders become more effectively and higher performing, reach out to me directly at richardkercz@gmail.com.

Be well. Inspire those in your teams.

R

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