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Understand your weaknesses



Being able to admit that you got something wrong is one of the most disarming things a leader can do. Knowing what your weaknesses are and having the courage to speak about them enables you to bring humility to leadership. (And those closest to you will know the truth of what you say.) You probably know what your weaknesses are already.

If not, find people you trust and trust them to give you honest feedback. Manage your emotions through this uncomfortable feedback and make sure that you encourage them to tell you what impact your failings have on people when you get things wrong. Reflect on these and be alert to when your weaknesses are in play.

Remember also that sometimes your weaknesses, when on display, can you make you seem a pretty unpleasant character. Being authentic is not an excuse for bad behaviour. When you are being yourself you might be overly critical, stubborn, patronizing or sarcastic. You may be being yourself but you are certainly not being yourself better. One of the reasons you need to know what these weaknesses are, and how they impact on others, is so that you can manage them better.

A tactful way to ask about your weaknesses, is to ask trusted colleagues what it is that is difficult about working with you. Again, once you have done this with a few people and feel confident that they have told you the truth, a clear pattern will emerge. You have to take a 360° view of yourself and learn to admit to your weaknesses, before putting the authentic you on display.





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