We are full swing into the second quarter of this year and I couldn’t be more excited. I believe I’ve been doing well this year especially in the departments of checking the way I do things and ensuring that I maintain my boundaries in every area of my life. I’ve noticed in three months, I’ve gotten a lot accomplished and I’ve conquered some fears while at it. I’m very proud of myself and if you’ve been doing the same so far, you should be too.
Believe it or not, we were all born to be leaders to some degree. Leaders are not to be confused with dictators whose mantra is, “Do as I say, and not as I do.” Leaders are people who aren’t afraid of being followers first, and to be fearless trailblazers and pioneers later. A lot of amazing leaders are rarely seen in the limelight. Some others are seen as overnight successes. Nevertheless, leaders are the ones that will take the roads less traveled and the paths rejected by others. They will make mistakes in the dark to come out on top waving the white flag.
Which leads me to these three important mistakes that potential leaders make that checked, they will rear an ugly head later. I’ve seen some amazing men and women throughout my life who had great ideas, and even birthed awesome movements, yet all of it was short lived. These people crumbled and would never be seen again, and their works in progress would go incomplete. The following I believe are foundational mistakes that can be easily remedied, I must add, with a little bit of elbow grease called humility.
Overestimating Ones Strengths
I get it. You’re a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fire cracking nun chucking ninja warrior when it comes to your strengths. What you’re good at, if you were to admit it to anyone, you could pretty much do it blindfolded and backwards. The mistake you will make is thinking your strengths can take on any challenge without properly assessing the challenge first. There is nothing wrong with believing the best about yourself. It’s admirable even to believe you can do anything, but it is not wise to take on tasks or endeavors just based off your strengths alone. Here’s why…
Underestimating Ones Weaknesses
You have weaknesses and shortcomings. We all do. When you underestimate your weaknesses, you close yourself off from correction and accountability. I believe this is one of the main reasons many have caught themselves doing the same thing and expecting a different result, even after watching something blow up their faces. It’s because their weaknesses were exposed after overestimating their strength and they rejected help or assistance. I’ve seen this happen up close and personal where I was the one soliciting my help. Just imagine someone being good at juggling multiple things at a time, so they keep adding to their plate; all the while not realizing that some of the things they’ve added to their plate require a little more finesse and one on one care. The mistake lies in assuming that juggling multiple things at once, without considering the amount of detail that goes into them individually, is a weakness, not a strength.
Neglecting to Prepare
There’s an adage that says, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Preparation is a valuable sidekick for potential leaders. When you prepare, and welcome all opportunities to do so, you’re able to effectively diagnose all past mistakes. Then you can properly associate these mistakes with either the overestimation of your strengths or the underestimating of your weaknesses. I bet some of the most well-known leaders, are master preparers. They’re the ones that make what they do seem so easy. But behind the scenes, they’ve sweated, they’ve cried, they’ve bled, they’ve contemplated giving up, and they’ve prevailed. Preparation is the conduit of a leader’s triumph.
I was asked by someone in response to my last post in February where I talked about maintaining momentum for the year, what did I find out about myself that I was doing of which I thought was right but turned out to be to my disadvantage. This is my response, I overestimated my strengths, I underestimated my weaknesses, and I didn’t do such a great job at preparation. But as I mentioned in my introduction, I’m proud of myself because I’ve taken the necessary steps to do better. You should join me!