1) Interacting with lots of people
FACT: I AM AN INTROVERT. I love people and enjoy being with them, but I can become drained quickly. When I’m responsible for large groups and many people need to interact with me, it can take an emotional toll if I’m not responsible and aware of how I am expending emotional energy. Self-awareness has been key for me in this area. Not to be over-dramatic, but I’ve also noticed that for me to be able to give a lot of energy to many people, I have to make sure I’m sleeping and eating well too.
2) Actually leading instead of simply training
I enjoy absorbing knowledge. I then enjoy teaching other people about the things I have learned about. However, that’s not necessarily the same thing as leading. I have to remind myself that part of what I do as a leader is more than just equipping; it’s also about having a vision and inspiring other people to get there as I teach. John C. Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence.” Influence is a lot more than just regurgitating facts.
3) Communicating effectively
I used to think that because I read, write, and speak fairly well, that meant I was a solid communicator. Was I wrong! I’ve had a lot to learn about how to communicate professionally and personally in ways that make sense to the person I am communicating with. I’ve learned that as a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure your message is understood. In order to do this I’ve had to think hard about little things like my tone of voice, body language, and the precise words I choose to use.
Identifying weakness or struggles is the first step to making progress toward improvement. Have you struggled in these same areas? What’s your biggest leadership struggle? Let me know in the comments!