As a business owner or manager it would be nice to think you have no weaknesses but how realistic is that?
It can be instructive to learn what others think about you and perhaps the first step in getting a realistic picture is to resolve to be honest with yourself.
It can be helpful to list the key characteristics you need for your role. As a business leader you need to show leadership, for example, to be able to stand back and concentrate on strategy and business growth and to not get bogged down in unnecessary detail.
However, as a leader you might prioritise accomplishing defined goals or you might prefer to set values and a vision. The fact is that no one style is right or wrong but you need to know what gaps need to be filled by yourself or others. You may need to work on your weaknesses.
As a manager you will need to be involved in getting the job done. You will need to be good at planning and scheduling, at organising and motivating staff and at all manner of tasks that you cannot delegate to others.
But personal strengths and weaknesses are not related only to how you approach business and management; they also include how you deal with others like investors, customers or suppliers, essentially how you communicate effectively ie in a way that gets results.
To find out about your strengths and weaknesses it can be helpful to consult one or two trusted colleagues or perhaps an objective business adviser and to map them using the SWOT analysis method.
Identify your most important weaknesses to work on
It helps to have a personal development plan with a timeline and goals to monitor progress.
Identify whether you need training, counselling or self discipline. Feedback is also important and again an objective mentor or business adviser will be useful, not only as someone to whom you are accountable but also who will provide you with positive feedback.
At the same time it can be useful to look at your strengths. Are they essential to your role or an indication of you inability to let go, to trust or to delegate?
With issues like short temper or procrastination it may be helpful to enlist the help of a specialist counsellor to help work on behavioural skills.
Equally important to in-work skills is the ability to switch off, rest and recharge. This is something people in key positions often find difficult but it may be time to consider taking up a leisure pursuit that is sufficiently absorbing and interesting to encourage this.
To avoid being left behind, you need to be aware of your weaknesses and constantly work on them.