Think it’s only good to focus on your strengths as a leader? Think again. Managing struggles is just as important. When identifying and determining personal struggles, we categorize them into two main groups –
- Lack of Talent. For example, accounting requires accuracy and detail, while outside sales requires a talent for being a spontaneous generalist. Therefore, most accountants will not be successful in sales and vice versa. They would struggle in those opposite roles because they lack the natural strengths. Who wants to swim upstream all day every day?
- Struggles from Strengths Overdone. If you look at great leaders throughout history, you can see this type of struggle is true. Winston Churchill, the amazing leader of Britain in World War II, always comes to mind. In his biography of Churchill, Piers Brendon said –
“Churchill rose to this challenge with incomparable vigor and self-confidence. These characteristics were precisely the ones to which he owed both his failures and his successes as First Lord. For as Admiral Bacon said, ‘Churchill’s vices were simply his virtues in exaggerated form. Dash became rashness. Assurance became cocksureness. Churchill’s overflowing energy was difficult to harness. His overwhelming faith in himself closed his mind to the opinions of others.’”
Are you guilty of getting in your own way? When we hear the expression saying someone “gets in his own way,” it’s usually about a person overdoing one of their strengths. We know from years of experience and data, we know that people who are verbally gifted can be great at explaining things or making a presentation, but they get in their own way when they talk too long or speak up too often. Similarly those who are naturally decisive have a great strength, but when they want to make all the decisions, they are control freaks.
Awareness of your struggles is critical because it’s the only way you can manage them. And if you manage them, others will not see them as a weakness. You see, there is great leverage in a learned behavior that helps you manage a struggle. A little goes a long way and will keep you from getting in your own way.
Please post your comments and wisdom below–we’d love to hear from you.
Also read the entire article and video coaching on this topic – “Two Leadership Struggles that Make you More Confident”