As a Marine Corps lieutenant, and usually as the only woman in the room, Taylor Drescher anticipated the challenges she might face as a leader. In her case, she was able to identify that her strength as a leader was literally her physical strength — so she played it as much as she could.

“I’d carry more weight on purpose, just to, not to prove a point, but because I could and I loved it. I lived for that, you know? So, why not? Then, the guys would be complaining or falling down, I’d be like, ‘Do you want me to carry your pack for you?’”

By the time Taylor decided to become a Marine, she was already deep into the functional fitness lifestyle and competing as an athlete. When she had to go on a five-mile, weighted endurance run through the mud for basic training, her reaction was, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this.”

This attitude has helped her have an awesome career not just as a Marine, but now as a life coach.

And it isn’t all about leaning on your strengths: Effective leadership requires an honest assessment of weaknesses and a plan to overcome them. In Taylor’s case, she was not good at taking standardized tests. That’s where she would ask for help studying. She knew that, just as her team would look to her for guidance in her strongest areas, she needed to be okay with sometimes saying “I don’t know this,” and seeking out help from someone who does.

She now applies these principles of playing up strengths and identifying weaknesses with her clients who look to become more effective leaders themselves, in a variety of fields.

This week on Barbell Business, we interview Taylor to discuss:

  • The benefits of trusting your subordinates the right away, and how to know when it’s time to let that trust go
  • How to overcome a lack of self-confidence or a weakness of mind when striving for difficult goals
  • What differentiates an effective leader from someone who’s just interested in the prestige of the position
  • Gaining authentic loyalty from subordinates, beyond a basic respect for your position

 

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