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Are you a truly great leader?

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A great leader knows his team’s strengths and weaknesses. He knows what they can collectively achieve together, and he can see what they are capable of—even when they cannot. He can also see where they are likely to face challenges.

A great leader also knows each member of her team as individuals. She knows their strengths, and she knows what motivates and drives each one. She can also see their blind spots—the areas where they need help, coaching and improvement. This knowledge allows her to communicate effectively with each member of her team.

Great leaders spend time with their teams and acquire knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses collectively and as individuals. More important, though, truly great leaders know their own strengths and weaknesses. They know the areas in which they do exceptionally good work and those in which they don’t.

Truly great leaders know when they have the vision, passion and message and when they need to hold others accountable for execution. Truly great leaders know that the inclination toward growth is both an asset and a liability and that they sometimes underestimate the amount of work it takes to realize their ambitions.

Truly great leaders enjoy an abundance of energy and passion but know that their desire to tackle too many initiatives at once can confuse their team as to what is important and produce haphazard results.

It’s important to know your team and the strengths and weaknesses of each member. But it’s more important to know the strengths and weaknesses of the person leading the team. To become a truly great leader, self-knowledge is a must.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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