All leaders have a proverbial lid on their capacity. Those who are self-aware enough to know where their limitations are can take the appropriate steps to develop themselves or build systems to accommodate that. Here some next steps to consider when leadership capacity has been maxed out.
- Leadership Development
Learning should be a lifelong process for leaders. As the saying goes, “leaders are readers.” Even if a leader can’t go to a leadership conference or take a training workshop, they should always make time to read. Books that address areas of weakness and limitation are highly beneficial.
Work on one leadership characteristic at a time. If the problem is not giving enough praise and appreciation to the employees, the leader can make it a point to write one encouraging email every day to an employee. Research shows that if someone does something for at least 21 days, it can easily become a habit.
Great leaders aren’t great at everything. What makes them great is that they are able to gather people around them who are great at things they are not. Sometimes, a leader may feel maxed out because of their current stage of development not utilizing his or her specific skill sets. Many entrepreneurs face this. For example, when they first start their business, they are doing all of their own bookkeeping and accounting. As the company grows, the accounting becomes beyond their capacity. Instead of taking classes to become a better accountant, a good leader will hire or outsource this function to someone who is better at completing the task than they are.
- Step Down
Sometimes, the most respectable and noble thing a leader can do is to step down and hand off the organization to someone else who can take it further. That’s a sign of a true leader who cares more about their impact on the business than that of themselves.
There are times when an organization gets beyond the capacity of a leader to lead, and there aren’t any practical ways around the fact that it may simply be time to move on to something else. Recognizing limits to your leadership abilities can be a difficult pill to swallow, but if a leader is willing to face the hard realities of their own limitations, they can take appropriate measures to address it.