Chris Guy, a former local authority head of legal, sets out how he tried to overcome his weaknesses.
Some time ago I had cause to consider my strengths and weaknesses; and in particular what I could do to help overcome the latter.
I thought it might be useful to share the “10 Commandments” I came up with:
- Be slow and measured in everything.
- Remember - two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion. "The weak man babbled his thoughts to any that would listen. The strong man kept his silence" [David Wingrove, Chung Kuo Book 4 "The Stone Within"] .
- Be softly spoken and pause - especially when being firm.
- No knee-jerk reactions, emails, phone-calls etc. Take advice before reacting.
- Stop apologising. Stop saying sorry. Toughen up; don't worry about not being liked.
- Every setback should be seen as an opportunity to do things differently, to reassess personal philosophy and strategies to work. Never let a good crisis go to waste.
- Management is about enabling great things.
- Don't hide behind processes. They are no substitute for leadership, taking responsibility, wisdom, judgement and leadership.
- Be transparent - honesty is the best policy.
- Meetings are often useless. Do I need to be there? Will I be adding value? Consider "standing meetings" and/or in a cold room!
The above are as written. I thought about tidying them up for public consumption, but I think seeing them unvarnished, as at the moment of conception, is more useful. Such philosophies don’t need to be works of art!
Do I always live up to these commandments? Well those who know me will be having a chuckle when they read this…but I would give myself a little pat on the back – if only for self-awareness!