Recognize Your Leadership Skills And Strengths And Leverage Them To Lead Better

True leaders are always trying to improve themselves. Which is great. But sometimes, that means we are so focused on the areas we feel we need to improve that we don’t always take the time to assess our current skills and strengths and how we can best leverage them. And sometimes, our strengths and even our skills come naturally to us, and so we may not even recognize their true value.

Let’s first look at common descriptors (a combination of both skills and strengths) that most of us associate with leadership:

It’s an extensive list and certainly, not a finite one, so add any you feel are missing.

How Do You Rate?

On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 meaning you perform the skill or strength consistently and with expertise) rate yourself and do it with brutal honesty. Make a separate list of all the ones that you rated yourself at a level of four or five and discard the first list—remember, we are focusing on your abilities and strengths, not your current inabilities and weaknesses.

Now, write an example of when you best performed each of those skills or strengths within the past six months. If there are any for which you cannot think of an example when you demonstrated that skill or strength recently, then you are not performing it consistently and with expertise, and it needs to be discarded from the list.

Once complete, study your examples from the perspective of, “How can I leverage that skill/strength more frequently and in different scenarios?”

What that might look like:

At home you are a time management whiz resulting in your family of five getting themselves ready and out the door by 7:35 every morning. At work, three of your coworkers struggle to efficiently work together so you can all meet your timelines. How can you apply the time management skills you use at home to your team in the office? And the skills and strength you’ve identified at work, how can those skills and strengths transfer into your personal life?

I encourage you to, on a weekly basis, identify one skill or strength that you will focus on leveraging either more frequently in your work or by integrating it into other aspects of your life.

Now, if you’re feeling brave, you can take the assessment of your leadership skills and strengths a step further by completing the Reflected Best Self (RBS) exercise developed by Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS).

At the center of the RBS is feedback on your strengths from a variety of people you interact with in both your professional and personal life. Once collected, you analyze the feedback for patterns of leadership skills and strengths that others see in you—ones you may not have recognized yourself. Once you have completed your own self-assessment and the RBS assessment, you will truly have a full picture of who you are as a leader and can develop a plan to enrich your leadership acumen.

In six months, do another self-assessment. Review the full list again, including the ones that you ranked yourself below 4 and re-rank yourself. It may be that leveraging one skill/strength served to enhance another. Leadership is a lifelong journey that requires constant learning, practice, and assessment.

What leadership skills and strengths can you leverage to be a better leader?

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