To achieve Step 14, individuals will show that they are aware of their own leadership style and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
The previous step introduced the idea of leadership styles and how different styles have a differing effect on other individuals. This step extends this by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each leadership style. Individuals should be able to use this to ensure that they are playing to their strengths and mitigating their weaknesses.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
At school or college you are likely to experience your first opportunities to lead others. Until this time you are unlikely to be aware of your natural leadership style and certainly not registered the impact you may be having on others. However, as you seek to develop this skill and seek opportunities to lead, the strengths and weaknesses of your natural style will become increasingly apparent to you, and to others. No leadership style is perfect therefore it is important from the offset that you start to identify strategies to mitigate the weaknesses in your style, so you become increasingly confident in your ability to lead others.
In the workplace, teams tend to have a very clear goal, one which contributes to the overall success of the whole organisation. It will be important to the whole team that the goal is achieved, not just to the leader, as its achievement contributes to the success of the business and continued employment for all. The attributes of the whole team can be utilised to ensure success and confidence at this step of leadership will enable the leader to utilise the skills of others in the team to mitigate their own leadership weaknesses. It is essential therefore that every leader is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their natural style and the situations which may create the greatest risk.
In the social and wider world, teams are generally created to satisfy or achieve a common goal, for example, a sports team or a group holidaying together. The group is likely to be non-hierarchical and the leader possibly a volunteer, willing or otherwise. To achieve success harmoniously the leader needs to use the strengths within the team to mitigate their own leadership weaknesses. Awareness of the weaknesses in your own leadership style is imperative if all the individuals are to gain social enjoyment and achieve the common objective. Disharmony and perceived lack of progress may lead to people leaving the group, negative behaviours which can extend beyond the group or even a full breakdown of the team.
To best practise this step of Leadership, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
In order to consider the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style, it is essential that you are aware of your natural leadership style or styles (Step 13).
To teach this step:
This step can be reinforced whenever learners are working in groups, and there is a leadership opportunity. Learners can reflect on the style that their leader has used, and what worked well about it, what some of the shortcomings could be, and whether the leader had been able to avoid those shortcomings.
This step is best assessed through observing a learner take on a leadership role to see whether they can lead effectively. This should be complemented with a reflection afterwards where the learner reflects on the strengths and weaknesses of their approach, and how they are trying to address any weaknesses.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through collecting feedback and observing an individual over time. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: