Every leader has weaknesses. As much as we’d like to be great at everything, nobody is perfect.
Yet there are some leadership weak points that can’t be overlooked. Left unchecked they can undermine a leader’s effectiveness.
The good news is that weaknesses aren’t set in stone. If we choose to face them head-on, they can be overcome.
As author and inspirational leader Simon Sinek said, “The great leaders are not the strongest, they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses.”
Working with numerous leaders over the past 30 years, I’ve seen first-hand the most common leadership weaknesses. Read on to discover what they are and, most importantly, how to conquer them.
Lack of inspiration
According to Forbes, one in five leaders is unable to inspire and motivate other people. As a leader’s mood often filters down through the ranks into the company culture, this can result in a business lacking in drive and energy.
To overcome this, a leader should make a conscious effort to connect with employees (be it through sharing information or giving them opportunities to grow) and adopt a more positive can-do attitude.
If a leader is too controlling, it can stymie creativity. Fearing they won’t be listened to, employees may feel reluctant to speak up or take calculated risks. This can limit the growth of a business.
To overcome this, welcome feedback and encourage employees to contribute their views so new ideas can be introduced and growth can occur. As Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Not a team player
Incredible teams can achieve incredible things. To not collaborate with employees or foster a collaborative culture is to risk missing out on new ideas and new experiences that can lead to people feeling excluded and unengaged.
To overcome this, ask people for their opinions and delegate responsibility. Feeling part of a team creates a morale-boosting atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to speak up and make a difference.
Lack of development
If a leader’s vision is business growth to the exclusion of employee growth, there’s a risk that the company will lose its best people. That’s because 68% of employees have changed jobs because of a lack of learning and development opportunities.
To overcome this, leaders can introduce ways for employees to develop their skills, such as regular lunch and learn sessions where employees can share knowledge, or training and development schemes. This gives employees opportunities for career development and lets the business benefit from previously untapped talent.
Leaders who don’t communicate with their employees risk making them feel left out of the loop, that they’re not listened to, or unsure what is required from them, which can hamper performance.
To overcome this, leaders can let employees know their worth by offering regular performance feedback and by asking questions and listening. This helps to create an open and honest culture where everyone feels that they can contribute.
Gloss over mistakes
An effective leader will admit their errors and analyse what can be done to avoid a repeat scenario. If mistakes are viewed negatively it can result in employees feeling reluctant to innovate as they’re anxious about the consequences.
To overcome this, leaders should adopt an ‘always be learning’ mindset where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and grow.
If you’d like to discuss your approach to leadership, get in touch with me to find out how I can support you.