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Embracing Your Weaknesses to Become a Better Leader

Leaders aren’t expected to have all the answers, but a leader’s relationship with their flaws is crucial to how the entire team functions. Too much pride, denial, or fear all get in the way of success. To quote a previous blog post on No More Ifs or Buts, “Fear is nothing more than obstacles that stand in the way of progress.” This applies to work life, too. A good leader knows how to maximise his/her skills, but a better leader doesn’t give in to fear and turns weaknesses into strengths.

Acceptance
Great leadership starts with acceptance. This does not show that a person is incapable of leading, because flaws are simply proof of humanity. Fast Company shares that strengths and weaknesses come together to make up a whole person. Without acknowledging the other would be to disregard an integral part of your being. It can be a personal process of identifying your blindspots or asking for some constructive feedback from your colleagues to give you some clarity as to what and how you can improve.

Humility
Fully embracing your weaknesses is a practice of humility—a vital quality in a leader. Forbes notes that effective leaders put a premium on the welfare of each team member more than their own. If you practice humility as a leader, you know that there are gaps you cannot fill that others may be able to. This type of leadership enables you to put trust in the skills of your employees.

In addition, Menlo Coaching explains that a humble leader claims accountability for his/her mistakes. You have to muster up the courage to own up to your contribution to failure instead of blaming it on your subordinates. In doing so, you build stronger relationships with your team members because they will start thinking of you as someone they can trust to lead them to triumph.

Transforming weakness into strength
Not being able to acknowledge your own imperfections is a weakness in its own. Conversely, accepting them makes you a stronger person and a better leader, because your weaknesses can become your armour against stagnancy in your career.

It’s easy to associate success with one’s strengths but acknowledging one’s weakness can catapult you towards accomplishing even more. Harvard Business School highlights the importance of regular periods of intense focus in practice to make your shortcomings work for you. When a person is good at something, improvement can only come in increments. Think of it as a person trying to lose weight only to reach a plateau because he/she keeps on doing the same routine out of comfort. The way to continue the progress is by incorporating a different set of exercises. In the same way, trying to develop a skill in an area where you may be lacking can create huge strides towards better leadership.

Great leaders aren't born; they are made. In order to become one, you must immerse yourself in a process of accepting your weaknesses, letting them keep you grounded, and finding ways to improve.

 

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