A great leader knows his team’s strengths and their weaknesses. He knows what they can collectively achieve together, and he can see what they are capable of even when they cannot. He can also see where they are likely to be challenged, stumble, and fail.
A great leader also knows about each member of her team as individuals. She knows their strengths, and she knows what motivates and drives each of them. She can also see their blind spots, the areas where they need help, coaching, and improvement. This knowledge allows her to communicate effectively with each member of her team.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the team collectively and as individuals makes a leader more effective, and great leaders spend time with their teams to acquire this knowledge and insight.
But the greatest leaders know their own strengths and weaknesses. They know where they do exceptionally good work, the work that is in their wheelhouse. They also know where they are weak.
Truly great leaders know when they have the vision, the passion, and the message, and need to improve on their ability to hold people accountable for execution.
Truly great leaders know that their entrepreneurial growth orientation is both an asset and a liability to the organization, that they chase opportunities and underestimate the amount of work it takes to make the initiative successful.
Truly great leaders have the strength of an abundance of energy and passion, but know that their desire to tackle too many initiatives at once causes them to produce haphazard results and confuses their team as to what is important.
It’s important to know your team. It’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member. But it’s more important that you know the strengths and weaknesses of their leader. This is what makes for a truly great leader.