To Be a Strong Leader, Know Your Limits

By Ursula Jorch

We spend a lot of time in our culture emphasizing possibility and lack of limits. You can do it! Everything is possible!

In a sense, that is true, as the field of possibility does allow for much to unfold. However, our relentless focus on lack of limits doesn’t allow for us to know when the way is not clear, when the way closes behind you.

Knowing your strengths is tremendously helpful. You can focus on them and develop them further.

Knowing your limitations can also be a great strength, if you also embrace them.

My own limitations include a lack of ability to give as much value to clients that are unwilling to go deep. I can work with this for a time, to try to bring them to a place of comfort where they can begin to go deeper. But I eventually reach my own limit. It’s not in me to stay with it indefinitely to give the value that I know can be realized.

I can either beat myself up about this, saying that I should do whatever it takes to get this client to go deep. I can lament my own lack of patience. Or I can recognize my limitations and not do myself or my potential client a disservice by taking them on.

Acknowledging your limitations can create a safe container where you can romp around all you want, being creative and contributing a great deal.

Your leadership benefits from knowing your limits. Here is the doorway to allowing other people to contribute their own strengths where your limits leave gaps. Business is a team effort, after all. Your joint contributions make your business stronger.

Fighting your limitations and spending a lot of time ignoring them or pushing against them can be destructive and waste a lot of your and other people’s time.

As often happens in life, a closed door also means the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is to stop pounding on the door, turn around, putting the door behind us, and welcome the big opportunities that now lies open to you. More opportunities for contribution, fulfillment, and impact.

To live well and fully, to have the most impact, is to live with the creative tension between our limits and our potential.

Whatever door is closed to you, it’s useful guidance. Honor your imitations. Onward.

About the author

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com for free resources for you and your business.

Categories: Managing & Leading

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