As a leader it is important to continue working in developing yourself, in developing yourself you can continue to develop others more. And the perpetual cycle keeps going, growing and growing.
One way to grow in your leadership is by developing your strengths (and weaknesses). It is important to identify what you believe are your strengths as well as finding out what others see as your strengths. The first step is to create a list of your strengths, list at least five to ten strengths. I, highly encourage you, (and strongly challenge you) to ask some peers, your staff, and leadership what they see are some strengths you have. If you are really daring, you can also ask what are some areas for improvement but we are really focused on your strengths today!
Next, take that list of strengths that you have written down and reflect on them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How have these strengths helped me in the past?
- How are they currently helping me?
- How can I improve on these strengths?
- How have these strengths not helped me in the past?
You can repeat these questions for your weaknesses too. Once you have answered these questions, take some time to reflect on them, and create an action plan. What’s the point of reflecting if you are not going to do something about it!
Here’s a personal example for myself, I am really great at creating a structure where there is none.
- How has this helped me in the past? This has helped me create stability for my employees in a fast and dynamic workplace. Not only is our industry constantly changing but we work with clients who have acute behavioral health needs that can lead them into crisis. Structure and stability is a must!
- How are they currently helping me? This strength helps me in building rapport with my team and maintaining a low turnover rate, which in turn creates more stability! see how it keeps growing?
- How can I improve on these strengths? I can continue growing this skill in various ways, learning new tools to use, educating my staff on ways to create their own structure, and how it has helped me in helping them. This list goes on, a simple google search would lead us to the rabbit hole of possibilities I am sure!
- How have these strengths not helped me in the past? Here’s where some people may struggle, but this a strength! How is it not? And that’s when strength becomes a blind spot! And can lead to it becoming a weakness or unforeseen challenge. Creating structure and stability is great but it can also stifle creativity. Creativity is essential for innovation, so how then do I maintain this balance? There a variety of ways to do this, one easy way is to encourage and elicit input from your staff.
Do you want to grow as a leader? Then take the time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. After some reflection, set up an action plan on how to improve them. And don’t stop there, review what you wrote (and your action plan) every biannually if not quarterly.
What are some ways you develop your strengths as a leader? Are you interested in working with me one on one or in group coaching? Click here to learn more.