Effective leaders start first by knowing themselves

The Chinese scholar Laozi once said something to the effect of “knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.” That saying holds a lot of truth when it comes to the continuous improvement of business leaders and management – efficiency doesn't come from being able to boss around employees but by truly knowing your own capabilities.

Business leaders need to know the limits of their own abilities and preferences before working with others, as this will enable them to pick teams that complement their own strengths and then lead in the most productive way. As The Star Online contributor Alex Cummins notes, strength can leverage weakness with great efficiency.

“Equally, the culture of some organizations may simply be too inflexible to allow change,” he adds. “In these cases your new wisdom and power will either allow you to bend to the prevailing culture or suggest the way to new ground in which to flourish.”

Developing a happy and productive workplace starts with ensuring the empowerment of employees. Being able to accomplish this goal is the difference between a good leader and a truly excellent one.