How Loud is Your Leadership?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2013 in Leadership | 0 comments

Ever notice how a really great song always has an optimal listening volume?  If it’s a little too loud, it can begin to feel like noise, if it’s a little too quiet, well you just know you are missing something.  

We all have strengths that we rely on to maintain our forward momentum.  They are well used skills and attributes that define who we are and are the foundation for our success.  BUT the old adage of having too much of a good thing can certainly apply to leadership skills and your strengths can begin to get in your way if you aren’t paying attention to the volume.

Self-confident,  principled, methodical.   Analytical, flexible, loyal.

These are all admirable characteristics,  but what happens if these strengths are over used?   When does self-confidence begin to look like arrogance?  Can methodical or analytical be interpreted as rigid or critical ?   Can overt loyalty be seen as blind naivete?

Is there really a tipping point where strengths can be perceived as weakness?  If so, how do you know if your volume is right?

Try this on for size….

  • Complete an inventory of your strengths.  Tap into what drives you and fully understand what characteristics contribute to your success.
  • Hold a mirror to your actions. Are there times when ‘what you do best’ is simply too much for others to handle?  Does your passion get in the way and cause others to misunderstand your motives?
  • Closely observe how people react to you.  Are they defensive, frustrated or disconnected?  Do they pull back when you are asking them to engage?  Are they guarded or evasive when you are seeking feedback?
  • Look inward to identify behavior in yourself that might be overwhelming or frustrating the people around you.  Look closer and you may find that those ‘weaknesses’ are in fact your strengths in overdrive.

Of course, there are many reasons people respond the way they do, not all of which are within your control.  However, developing a strong awareness of what you can control can go a long way to leadership success.  Learning how your driving force ‘shows up’ in your personal and professional life can help you be more effective at leveraging your strengths and enable you to create an environment that is  dynamic,  collaborative and authentic.

It’s time to shed new light on those so-called personal ‘weaknesses’ that are so often the bane of effective leadership.

Perhaps your only weakness is failing to be attentive to finding the optimal volume for all of those things that make you great.

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