Monday, May 25, 2009

Business leadership skills: evaluating your leadership strengths and weaknesses

The key to effective business leadership is self-assessment. Evaluating your strengths and weaknesses gives you valuable information to build a business that works for you.
If you are having trouble coming up with strengths or weaknesses try the following :
  • Ask a trusted friend or family member for some observations.

  • Review past employee evaluations you have received.

  • Administer on yourself the same evaluation you provide for employees.

  • Detail past successes and list the qualities you employed in those efforts.

  • Detail past failures and review what skills you could have used for a more successful outcome.

  • Put your list aside for a day or two.

  • If you are asked to offer consultations, lectures or papers, is there a topic or content pattern?

  • Ask for feedback from employees.

  • List the personal qualities of leaders that you admire – which match your own? Which do you aspire to?

  • Review leading journals/articles in your area – what gaps come to mind?

  • Look for patterns in your work performance (for example, which tasks do you dread or avoid regularly).

  • Write a detailed job description for a leader in your industry (or review the one you already have). Assess your comfort level or skill in each task area on a scale from one to five.
You will not score perfect fives in every area, nor should you expect to. The idea isn’t to know it all, but to be a more effective leader by:
  • Identifying, emphasizing and building on strengths.

  • Identifying, building up and/or working around weaknesses.

  • Creating a work environment that highlights your strengths.

  • Creating a team that complements your assets.

  • Developing a professional development learning plan.
There may be some tasks or responsibilities that you are more comfortable farming out or delegating. That’s perfectly okay. You will have more productive and satisfied employees if you are confident enough to let go and let them run with the tasks that emphasize their strengths.