Leadership Strengths That Most People Mistake For Weaknesses

Jason Cortel
5 min readJan 18, 2022

We all make mistakes. It is inevitable, and we should embrace our failures as a way to learn from them. But what happens when you don’t know you are making a mistake? You will never be able to fix it, and your career can suffer because of it. This blog post will discuss the leadership strengths that most people mistake for weaknesses. Continuing to think they are leadership weaknesses will lead to an unfulfilled career with lackluster achievements.

1. Serving employees/clearing up afterward is a leadership strength.

The first leadership strength that many people mistake as a weakness is serving employees and clearing their plates afterward. When hosting a meeting or giving your team lunch, leaders often don’t offer to serve their employees. Even worse, these leaders often feel the employees should serve them.

Additionally, when the meeting or lunch ends, they leave it up to the employees to clean the room. You demonstrate leadership strength by offering to serve your employees and cleaning up the conference room once the meeting is over. In doing so, you show the employees they matter, and you care about them. It also models the right behavior for them to strive towards.

2. Focus on how you affect others and tailor your actions accordingly.

When you focus on how you affect others, you can tailor your words and actions accordingly. People often mistake thinking that leadership is all about giving orders and taking control. These leaders make the mistake of thinking the employee should bend and adjust to their style. However, a good leader knows how to motivate and inspire people.

Influential leaders understand what makes people tick and use this information to get the best out of them. So it is a leadership strength to focus on how you affect others and adjust your style accordingly. It is a mistake to think a one-size-fits-all approach is effective.

3. Leaders let team members talk before they do.

Leaders often make the mistake of talking too much and not letting their team members speak. They feel they have to be the smartest person in the room and are driven to say the most during meetings. Additionally, when leaders do this, they are not giving their team members a chance to share their ideas or thoughts. This can lead to team members feeling unheard and unimportant.

To be an effective leader, it is important to let your team members talk before you do. Staying silent and letting your employees talk is a leadership strength. It shows that you respect them and value their input.

4. Leaders should solicit feedback from all levels, especially the lowest level of their team.

Another leadership strength that most people think is a weakness is asking for feedback from all levels within the organization. Leaders need feedback from their peers and employees to improve their leadership skills.

Feedback can help leaders identify their strengths and weaknesses, and it can also help leaders understand how others perceive them. Receiving feedback can be uncomfortable for leaders, but it is essential for growth. Leaders who are open to feedback will be more successful than those who fail at leadership.

5. Trusting their team and peers is a leadership strength.

Trust is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective. When you trust someone, you believe that they have positive intent with their actions. Leaders must trust their team and peers to be successful because it allows them to feel comfortable taking risks and increases creativity.

In addition, extending trust provides for better communication and collaboration. Leaders need to remember to trust and validate. Extending trust to your team is a leadership strength.

6. Being nice isn’t a weakness. It’s a leadership strength.

Being nice is one of the most significant leadership strengths that you can have. When you are friendly, people are naturally drawn to you. They want to be around you, they want to help you, and more importantly, they want to follow you.

When you are nice, it shows that you care about others and are willing to put their needs first. This is a potent leadership quality, and it will help you build strong relationships with your employees. For example, if you were tough on a team member during a difficult meeting, follow up with them afterward.

7. Accepting your blind spots is a leadership strength.

As a leader, it is crucial to be aware of your blind spots. Blind spots are areas where you are unaware of your weaknesses. They are caused by several factors, such as arrogance or overconfidence. Leaders need to acknowledge their blind spots and take steps to address them.

Accepting you have blind spots starts with being honest with yourself and seeking feedback from others. It’s also important to enlist the help of others to complement your weaknesses.

8. Delegating duties is a leadership strength.

Leaders need to delegate duties to an unprecedented degree to succeed. When leaders try to do everything themselves, they quickly become overwhelmed and stretched too thin. Instead, leaders need to learn how to delegate effectively to grow their business or organization.

Delegating means giving employees the appropriate tasks and responsibilities and trusting them to complete them correctly. Delegating duties also allows leaders to focus on higher-level tasks and goals, essential for continued growth.

9. Knowing everyone’s name and their families is a leadership strength.

Leaders should know everyone’s name and learn about their families. It’s an excellent way to show that you care about your employees and want to get to know them better. Knowing more about someone’s family might give you insight into their work habits or personality. Plus, it just makes for a more friendly and welcoming work environment. Becoming familiar with your team is sometimes viewed as a leadership weakness. However, it is a strength.

10. Always work to earn trust.

Trust is essential for successful leadership. It is a strength for leaders to continuously work to earn the trust of their employees. Leaders need their employees to believe in them so they will hold nothing back. Employees need to feel safe bringing problems forward. They must feel safe presenting new ideas. Without trust, employees hold back from voicing issues or pitching new ideas. Additionally, leaders who earn trust create a productive and positive work environment.

A leader’s legacy is the culture they leave behind. Adopting these leadership strengths promotes a culture of inclusion and collaboration. Embrace the leadership strengths that most people think are weaknesses because they are the declared values and qualities that demonstrate effective leadership.

What strengths would you add to the list? What are the essential leadership qualities you want in a leader? Share your perspectives in the comments below.

Originally published at https://www.jasoncortel.com on January 18, 2022.

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Jason Cortel

Changing the world by developing people professionally. Author who blogs about leadership, career advice, and coaching. #WhyYouNow