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I think there's no such thing as a perfect leader.
The best leaders know they, like everyone else, have strengths and weaknesses. In areas where they can't provide their people with leadership they build it through their leadership team.
In my last Strategic Snippet I talked about BIG leaders and small leaders. It takes a BIG leader to understand their weaknesses and an even BIGGER leader to openly discuss this and deliberately build people around them who are stronger than they are.
It's like Mike Hollings, CEO of Te Kura, The Correspondence School says: "Your people need to know you as a personality. Warts and all!" Mike Hollings
"Work to your strengths and make sure that other people know them too. Know your weaknesses and find people who compliment you." According to Mike, his success is largely due to his ability to know himself and recruit people who complement his skills.
I know a successful senior manager who has come up through the ranks based on his information technology skills. He is relatively weak when it comes to people, yet, he has very low turnover within his team and whenever they are surveyed, they are the most positive within the organisation. His trick is his self awareness. He knows where he is strong and where he is weak. He is big enough to talk about this openly with his people. At their annual meeting, when it comes to publicly recognising individuals for their achievements, he does not make the speech, his Personnel Manager does. He hands over the prize and shakes the hand.
Some people would say that this is a copout. I don't think it is. More importantly his people don't either. Everyone knows who is pulling the strings and who insists that winners are recognised.
Like everyone, individual leaders have their strengths and weaknesses. When developing leaders, it is far better to build on their strengths. Many people find this is counter-intuitive. Their natural inclination is to work on their weaknesses.
Herrmann International's research into thousands of leaders has shown that people are far better to develop their strengths than their weaknesses. With the same amount of effort they can make large strides working on their strengths or small steps working on their weaknesses.
The best strategy is to develop your strengths and cover your weaknesses, however, leaders also need to understand their weaknesses and consciously build people and support systems to cover these.
Until recently we have only been able to guess at our strengths and weaknesses, now we have the technology to be able to measure them scientifically.
The way forward. Imagine the power of your top team if everyone worked to their strengths and those strengths in total covered the whole field. Anything would be possible! This is what my clients are finding. It's what you'll find out too. Find out how...
Give me a call if I can help. In the meantime: Think BIG!
Virtual Group Business Consultants
free phone: 0800 4 virtual or +644 570 0727 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills