Great managers are not made overnight – building an effective management technique takes time and experience to cultivate. Offering good management requires a hodgepodge of skills, an elegant blend of patience and firmness, pushing yourself to challenge your team members in order to achieve full potential. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.
Leaders are human beings, and human beings have flaws. That’s the way of the world, and there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, the best leaders and managers in their fields have a deep understanding of their own weaknesses, finding success through identifying flaws and correcting them. Like anything in life, when you can identify your own struggles, you become stronger.
Remember, success requires diligence and humility. Don’t be upset with yourself if right now you’re not the type of leader you strive to be. Pride can be your greatest foe. Instead, push yourself to trust the process; and know that dedication delivers results.
Understand General Manager Strengths and Weaknesses
Knowledge is power. It’s as simple as that. As a business leader, it’s vital for you to both be listening to your team members and work environment while arming yourself with as much information and learnings as possible.
What this means in practice is that your day-to-day work with your team will be your biggest source of data. Is good work being produced? Are your team members happy? Do you find yourself failing or succeeding in different situations? The list goes on and on. If you push yourself to listen to your team and the situations, you’ll start to grasp what’s working and what’s not working.
Moreover, educate yourself. There are countless books out there that explore what it means to be a successful general manager or leader. Apply yourself in this department, even if it’s something like Management for Dummies, which may seem silly or basic. You’ll be surprised by how these resources are full of wise words from the perspective of experience. They’ll help you on micro and macro levels, showing you how to deliver effective feedback and how smart leadership can establish a productive, happy work environment.
Another smart way to learn about leadership is to read or listen to biographies about great leaders in history. Think about Winston Churchill or Joan of Arc. Yes, shepherding England through World War II or heroically leading a battle during the Middle Ages are probably different situations than managing a a hospitality team, but humans remain humans, and we are an awfully stubborn species. It may sound strange, but knowing how great leaders in history established their legacies and endured through tough situations can be a useful source of inspiration and understanding of how to get the most out of your team.
In other words, knowledge isn’t going to just appear in your mind without any work. You need to seek it out. Your brain will thank you the next time a tough management situation presents itself, and you’ve got answers on how to handle it.
Identify and Understand Your Shortcomings as Both a General Manager and Potential Leader
Self-awareness is a major key to life, and that’s no different when it comes to examining yourself as a manager.
If you haven’t, give yourself an honest assessment. Imagine you were giving an employee their annual or quarterly review, except do it to yourself. Focus on what you’re doing well, and perhaps more importantly, why you think you’re doing it well. Write this information down, because it will help your brain engage and process the data. This exercise will provide a window into your motivations and help you understand what success actually looks like.
Then, do the same thing with your weaknesses. And again, be honest with yourself. No one is going to judge you, because everyone has weaknesses (not to mention this self-examination is just for you). Holes will reveal themselves, and you’ll begin to get a clearer picture of where you should be focusing your energy.
Create a Support System by Openly Discussing Your Weaknesses with People You Trust
If you’re a manager or leader, it’s safe to say that you’re driven and want to get the most out of your career and your life. That’s probably the reason why you’re reading this blog post right now!
And yet, successful people are often their own harshest critics. After understanding what makes a good leader and then evaluating yourself, you probably are trying to figure out how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
A smart way to do this is by engaging with people in your life you trust, whether that’s a best friend or a partner or a family member. Talk with them about your struggles and fears, and how you want to transform those into successes. Given the intimacy of your relationship, they will help you get out of your own head while being honest about the situation, providing guidance on how to help yourself improve.
Granted, don’t take what they say as gospel, but listening to the perspectives of people you trust will provide invaluable insight and show you where you have opportunities to grow. They’ll also help you not be too hard on yourself, reminding you that you’re just one person, and that your desire to improve yourself is something to be commended, no matter what.
Educate Yourself About Your Weaknesses
As we’ve already stated, there are countless resources out there that will provide knowledge to improve your leadership and management strategies. But focusing down to specific opportunities is a guaranteed way to give yourself an edge.
Once you determine your weaknesses, do everything you can to learn all about them. Read articles and books, listen to podcasts, or gather information however you gather. Arming yourself with data is the ultimate way to understand a situation, what causes it, and how to solve it.
Determine a Plan of Action to Combat Specific Weaknesses
You’ve studied your habits, identified weaknesses, talked with people you trust, and educated yourself. Now it’s time for action. Depending on your specific situation, there are various ways to overcome your weaknesses.
Some are obvious. For example, if you struggle with public speaking, consider a public speaking course at a local community college. Or if there are issues with time management, focus on implementing time management strategies to help with efficiency or timeliness. Classes and books on these subjects are tremendous ways to improve yourself.
Others are a bit more nebulous. Perhaps you find yourself struggling to articulate clear expectations for employees or run into walls while trying to motivate. These types of obstacles require further investigation into yourself. How is your work/life balance? Do you eat a balanced diet? Are you getting enough sleep? There could be a number of factors taking up space in your brain, which then manifest in your work.
Keep in mind that your job is one part of your life, and sometimes harmony is difficult to find. Give yourself the tools to work on yourself, review and evaluate the work, make decisions, and move forward.
Be Patient, Work Hard, Trust the Process, and Get Results
Achieving quality in anything in life requires time and effort. Goals require endurance and persistence, and the path won’t always be easy.
Forgive yourself for your weaknesses, and remind yourself that you’re doing your best to improve them. Trusting yourself and desire to grow is a great foundation upon which to work. By trying to be a better leader and manager, you’ll become a stronger communicator, and a more valuable asset to the team you lead and your employer. This breeds confidence and determination to move up in your career, positively impacting your life in a holistic manner.
Set your goals, work hard, hold yourself accountable, and you’ll begin to reap the benefits. In the end, who knows where it could take you?