Millennial Leadership Series: Lesson 1 – Do You Know Your REAL Weaknesses?

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Millennial Leadership Series: Lesson 1 – Do You Know Your REAL Weaknesses?

Our next blog series is dealing with Millennial Leadership.

It’s important that we begin exploring leadership as we enter into management positions in our companies or strike out and become entrepreneurs; there are important skills that we may need to develop on the fly or build on leadership basics that you are already aware of.

Poor leadership can hurt a number of things, including good ideas.

It might be a slight exaggeration that leadership is a part of everything, but doesn’t it feel like poor leadership can consume your world when you are surrounded by a passive aggressive micro-manager.


It may feel like it affects everything, but it doesn’t. In fact, poor leadership can be superseded by people with common goals or sheer ambition. Similarly, you cannot have work-life balance and be successful. You might be slightly miserable but you can also have work-balance, properly delegate and be successful. The decision is up to you. This is what we want to press upon you first. Bad leaders get by, make ends meat, and maybe even create a few cool things along the way. Being a good leader, unless it’s natural, is a choice. You have to take the time to stop and evaluate what you can do better. If you choose to not be a good leader, you will lose quality people around you, and you will forever have blind spots, the ultimate career and business killer.

Enter Lesson 1.

Now you all know, we like to go down the unpopular road.

Many leadership experts and gurus tell you not to focus on weaknesses too much and to some extent you shouldn’t at all. There are weaknesses that cannot be improved even with the best resources, practice and attention paid to them.

Curious what I mean? Read here, here, here and oh, here too. (But finish this article first)

And I don’t disagree with those points. Play to your strengths. Pick 1 or 2 strengths and really go HAM, and be the best that you can be just like the ARMY.

But what I am here to talk about is don’t be so focused on your strengths that you don’t know your weaknesses.

And I mean your REAL weaknesses.

Not you trying to be “humble” and say you are not the best at something and it is actually what you do well, but you don’t want to come off cocky. That’s why I never understand the whole focus on your strengths when people really do fail to understand the actions, behaviors and temperaments that can make you a bad worker, leader, and all around person to be around.

And I repeat, actions, behaviors, moods, or whatever, that actually are a negative to you and your team.

So, what are they? Let’s actually get a little concrete here:

  1. You don’t pay attention to details.
  2. You pay attention to too many details, do an exceptional job, but can never be trusted to meet a deadline.
  3. You like to do everything yourself and not ask for help or you never ask for an opinion.
  4. You can’t complete a project or a task without feedback and affirmation.
  5. You don’t take advice or criticism to the point any suggestion is like world war 3.
  6. You take every piece of advice or criticism to heart and don’t consider the source.

See what I did there?

Yeah, I went to extremes on both ends. These are behaviors that affect the work place and either extreme is not good. In fact, it is worth it to learn how to bring yourself a little to the middle. If you aren’t managing folks or a team yet, it’s really important to make adjustments now, before you are leading others. Why? It’s just like a marriage. They say when you get married everything about the person, good and bad, just becomes more intensified. This is true about becoming a leader. Your traits and behaviors, good and bad, become intensified the higher you go up, because there is more pressure on you. Thus, it is important to KNOW your weaknesses and your strengths early in your career and surrounded yourself with others who can always catch those weak spots.

Despite the Esquire that goes behind my name, I am an attorney who doesn’t like details. This is maybe why I am a lawyer turned writer. I definitely look for detail-orientated people to work with, it is a must. I read my emails 5 times before I send it out to an “important” person or client, because I know I struggle at paying attention to the details, and I want to make sure I am explaining whatever I need, whatever service I can provide, and most important, that I am answering ALL the questions that have been asked.

I know I will never be excellent at focusing on the details, but knowing this about myself has helped me tremendously in understanding one type of person I need on my team. I could go into other weaknesses but I hope you get the point.

I have completed several leadership and personality tests, as I am sure you have to, but I want you to look at the DiSC profiles below. Though simple, I like the way they identify possible weaknesses. Check it out and give us feedback!


You can read more from Jackie-Monroe at 


Also published on Medium.