Friday, October 2, 2015

Should Leaders Feel Weak

A strong leader can have a few moments of weakness, but shouldn't constantly be in weak mode.

Leaders after all are human and, therefore, are going to have moments when they have these weak feelings. Everybody has to accept this fact that in life there is up and down. If the leader can wake up from feeling weak that will bring his/her skill and maturity to next level which will make him/her a better leader. A strong leader can have a few moments of weakness, but if you are constantly in a weak mode, you need to dig through the root cause, and double check your leadership effectiveness. Be authentic and always in a learning mode.

When you feel weak, you should consider it as an opportunity. Every leader may go through a moment when they might feel a bit weak or insecure about a situation or how to face it. One of the best approaches is to understand the position you're at, what is holding you back, and how you're going to deal with it to overcome such issue. Being a true leader means never giving up in what you do best and just going out there to continue leading and motivating teams - the way you always do. It is an opportunity to go through a process and come out stronger and successful by overcoming a hurdle or an obstacle. Feeling weak as a leader confirm that we are the human being with emotion. But if you let the weak feeling take over you, then you might take long to recover or you will never be out of it. If weakness is a constant state, leadership isn't at a good position. The strong leadership comes through what you learn, endure and go through, and how you use that to achieve a positive attitude for others to follow you. It is not necessarily called weakness, but an opportunity to drive out a learning process in becoming a true leader.

The best way to defeat weakness is by facing it. Determining the source is the best therapy that can lead to root solutions. You need to find the fundamental cause in order to gain strength back. Leaders are intrinsically motivated. You feel weak when you are unsure of a situation or an issue. When that is the case, ask the questions that help you gain a greater understanding of the situation or issue. Not only will this help you feel stronger, it will build up your team because you are asking them to be the subject matter expert. Often feelings of weakness come from a lack of skill, a lack of confidence, or from fatigue. If skills are needed pursue training/coaching to gain them and then practice to gain confidence and stamina. If the feeling of weakness is not based on a lack of skill then seek help to identify the subconscious sources of the self-doubt and energy drainers. When you feel weak, you need to acknowledge it and push through it. What can you say to yourself to stop from going down the rabbit hole? For some it's reflecting on their successes, for others it's knowing that this is momentary and will pass - as every storm does. The strong leaders have it in them to pull up and out.

You become a motivational leader by becoming the kind of person others want to get behind and support in every way. Too many people don't have the correct motivation or no motivation except perhaps habit and that's definitely never good enough. Where does the leader gain strength to begin with? Without other team members, there is no strength. When the leader feels weak, they must remember and acknowledge that they are part of the team and use the situation to further develop the team and other team members. You need someone to motivate you, support you, bring you back that can either be your better half, your friend, your mentor. You never know. But you will always need someone besides you. When you feel weak as a leader, remember that lack of strength is not your doom to mortality but it is an ability that allows you to empathize (probably giving you a perspective that results in solutions to your problem) or it is an opportunity to bond with and inspire your team. You can prove that you truly believe something just by the way you feel about it. Weakness can ironically be viewed as a strength. Your followers naturally see your ability to succeed! However, when they see your ability to succeed DESPITE life's inevitable blows (that we all experience) you may inspire them to push through difficulties themselves and even to work harder for you with your newfound human touch.

Embrace it and relish it because it is only through failure that we achieve our greatest success. Those in life who are most successful do not succeed in spite of failures, but rather they succeed because they have failed (often more than most). Think of all the times you succeeded most in life and felt strongest, it’s often during the times you were "hungry" or achieving a success after recovering from failure. Those who are afraid to fail or worried about feeling weak are depriving themselves of their greatest ally and will be paralyzed by their fears when they should be motivated by them. Weakness has to be viewed ironically as an opportunity to gain strength. It's basically like the phrase "No pain, no gain", or if you're down, and you pick yourself up, you will better in accomplishing the successes than never being down at one time. An act of weakness can be considered an opportunity to turn it into a strength depending on how you want to tackle the situation and how you would like to overcome it. Once you do so, you tend to make others follow you because they've been in the same boat as you, and now they have a leader to follow who can easily interpret their life-changing moments to them.

Take the opportunity of a weak condition to further develop your strengths. Usually, we do the opposite just recognizing when we succeed. However the ability to effectively practice the self-knowledge to learn from our failures and weaknesses can become a great differentiation. Accepting our weaknesses, make us stronger. And leadership evolves by understanding your accomplishments and successes and transforming them to guide, motivate, and lead people. Failures are great in a good way because they tend to give you a life experience towards something better, so you become a stronger and a positive leader. Sun Tzu said, " a person who makes several calculations will find victory and the person who makes fewer calculations will find defeat." The real source of leadership is the mind, in another hand the mind means logic, ideas, calculations, wisdom; but when the source of leadership is in the heart, in this case, it's about feeling, weakness, short-term vision, fear, emotion, though gut feeling is important, but in most of cases, the mind should take the lead not the heart, the heart is follower of the mind; in this result,  the leader will think logically not emotionally. As long as we are willing to lead with a positive attitude, there almost seems nothing weak within us. We may feel weak, but when you notice that you're motivating and leading others in even the simplest ways possible, you will always have the courage to overcome all your weaknesses as a leader. Ones true character is critical to being a good leader. Peter Drucker has a great quote: "No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings."

Seek balance - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Reflect on times where you were strong, motivated and energized. Recall the feeling and the inner strength. Use that feeling to move forward. Give yourself the time needed to sort through the feeling and believe in your other strengths to get you through to the other side. It is only through facing your weaknesses that you grow and become stronger whether in leadership or life.


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