‘’ I’ve never met an effective leader who wasn’t aware of his talents and working to sharpen them’’.
On the 30th of May 2018 I embarked on an inspiring journey to enrich myself as a leader. I was accepted into the LeadIn Summer Cohort (8) leadership programme. This is an 8-week curriculum that brings together professionals from diverse fields, backgrounds, and experiences to learn and mould their leadership skills. One of the key features I loved most at the beginning of the programme was the Clifton Strengths Finder test from a book by Tom Rath. Before this test, I was not completely sure about what exactly my strengths were and I simply carried out tasks without particularly focusing on those areas where I was most capable. After completing the test, I became conscious of those areas of my life, both personally and professionally, where I can superiorly deliver as well as those grey areas that need constant improvement through self or outside mentoring and coaching. The take home lesson for me from this exercise was that without an awareness of your strengths it is almost impossible for you to lead effectively. I realised that I am strong in executing and influencing but need to work more on building relationships. It is therefore imperative that as a leader one should constantly take some self-introspection regarding how one can fully utilise their unique competences and strengths to build a team that will deliver the best results. It is also important to become more cognizant of any ‘blind spots’ that may be caused by our talents. For instance, you may be strong in commanding and making things happen but you may not realise the damage you may be leaving in your wake as you are pushing for things to happen. Finally, I challenge any leader who comes across this article to complete a personal strengths finder test to enhance their capabilities.