As a leader, you are given a formidable yet inspiring task. In any setting, you are the personal, walking, talking representation of the spirit and direction of your group. Those who follow you must do so with trust and willingness.
We all have weaknesses. As a strong leader, you must do the work early and often to identify what yours are. Admit to them. Ask your team for support. Hire others with complementary skills and strengths.
[See also: How to Get Out of Life’s Sand Bunkers]
A good leader knows this advice all too well, but doesn’t always translate knowing into doing. This is often why a large ego displaces smart leadership. One of the most important attributes of a strong leader is the ability to be humble. Don’t let your ego run wild. Remain humbled by those who support you and your organization.
Outstanding leadership is about being self-aware. It is about being aware of your surroundings, but also internally, the attributes that make you YOU. Discover your weaknesses as a person, and admit them. The greatest leaders in the world knew that they were flawed to some degree, and either recognized and honed their flaws into strengths or worked around them.
You probably don’t like to acknowledge your weaknesses. Welcome to the club! The best and most successful leaders not only recognize where their areas of weakness are, they surround themselves with people who shore up those weaknesses. Those who follow you will realize your sincerity and appreciate the way you recognize their gifts as a vital component of team success.
Your team needs and wants recognition. They are hungry for it. So whenever you can, turn to your team for support. Realize that you don’t have all the answers, and it may very well be the people surrounding you who can contribute the most to solve key problems and accelerate your success as a group. Ask your team for the support they genuinely want to give you, and you’ll become recognized for the collaborative and effective leader that you are.
Of course, you must gather a team that is, in fact, smart. But beyond that, it is about finding a team whose traits complement your own traits. Focus on developing a team that not only fills vital gaps, but also magnifies your strengths.
Ultimately, your job as a leader is to increase the collective value of your team. Use your strengths to succeed and flourish. Develop others. Raise the bar together. Marvelous leaders focus on these tasks so that marvelous performance will take care of itself.