As the leader of your organization, sitting at the head of the table, you look around and assess those around you. Some of the people there might be hand picked by you and some you might have inherited when you took on the role. Regardless of how they came to be there, they are all bringing skillsets, opinions, and personalities to the table. It is much easier to look at those around the table and assess their talents and abilities than it is to take a hard look at your own skills as a leader.
A good leader should self-reflect in order to improve upon their abilities to lead. Your leadership abilities are constantly going to be evolving as you contend with different situations and different personalities. You as the leader must understand how your own personality fits into the organization and how your skill set can be utilized to direct the organization to achieve both short and long-term goals.
For example, you may be a bit prone to having a short temper. Small things easily upset you and you find yourself yelling at subordinates about trivial mistakes. Leaving aside for the moment that this is not healthy or productive for you personally, have you stopped to consider the impact your behavior is having on your employees and business? A boss who loses their temper frequently will also lose the respect of their employees and you may find yourself dealing with high turnover because no one wants to work for you. On the other hand, subordinates may be afraid to bring problems or difficult issues to you because they are afraid of the reaction they will get. Without proper information, a supervisor can’t make good decisions and inevitably, this will hurt the bottom line.
There are many other potential pitfalls you should be aware of, maybe you are a poor communicator, or maybe you are a micro-manager, but whatever the case a good leader will self-analyze and strive to improve in any way possible. The mere fact that you are sitting down and reading this blog shows that you’ve already taken the first step by recognizing your possible shortcomings and wanting to better your skills.
Conversely, you should also ask, “what do I do really well”? Some leaders are good at lending an empathetic ear, being a mentor, or providing clear guidance and direction to their employees. Whatever your strengths are you should work on being even better at them while simultaneously striving to shore up areas in which you might be weaker. Remember, the health and success of your company depends in large measure on you as the leader so take some time, look honestly at yourself, and make a plan to be even better. Taking the time to do this process can only result in a happier and healthier environment for both you and your subordinates.