Last month was Black History month and this month is Women's History month in America. Being both Black and a woman I am always interested in the challenges these groups face.
But I find the biggest challenge most leaders face is usually not at the hand of some one else. It is typically with the internal limits you impose on yourself.
Yes, there is injustice in the world. Injustice has always existed and it will always exist. But if you are honest, the reason you are not reaching your goals has more to do with YOU than it does with others!
Who am I to change?
We've always done it this way!
It is hopeless.
I can't work like this.
If only I had more time, money, or resources.
Leadership is just as much mindset as it is skill set. Great leaders are very careful about they think. Take my mini assessment to find out if you are getting in your own way.
~Do you frequently talk yourself out of a novel idea, new project, or approach?
~Do call yourself a realists as an excuse not to try new things?
~Do you secretly blame others for not having the opportunity you think you deserve?
If you answered yes to these then you are getting in your own way.
Last month, I almost prevented a major milestone from happening with BRAVE. I hated working from my home office. I am the type of person who needs to have thngs physically compartmentalized so I can concentrate. As BRAVE began to grow, I found it more difficult to work in my home office. I then started looking for office space. Armed with my budget and a short list of must haves (a window) I set out to look. I found my space almost by accident. It has not one but two windows that let in beautiful natural light. It was nicely furnished and I loved it. Then came the doubt.
Do you REALLY need an office?
Couldn't you put that money somewhere else?
What are you going to do in this office that you can't do in your home office?
And so it went. My mind was under attack. No one was stopping me from taking this next step except me. The manager in me was very concerned about the logic of the decision. The leader in me knew that I had to make a visionary step for the growth of my company.
I was getting in my own way by over analyzing and second guessing myself. As leaders we have to make data driven decisions. Sometimes we have to trust our instincts despite the data. The humor in this situation is that all the data was positive. The data said, "sign the lease." I was being overly cautious...which can be just as dangerous as being reckless.
3 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way
1. SET GUIDELINES, not rigid rules
Instead of setting rigid rules to which you force yourself to adhere, choose to set guidelines or ways of thinking or acting that will help you develop your leadership muscles. What do great leaders do? How do great leaders think? There is plenty written on the subject and all you have to do is Google to find out. So what are the guidelines you want to practice going forward? For instance, I have been working on making decision quickly because I know given too much time, I will become paralyzed. One of my guidelines is great leaders make wise decisions quickly. So armed with all the facts, I gave myself a deadline to decide on moving forward with the office. The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically Every Day lists several guidelines you can use to begin changing your habits.
2. START SMALL
If you can successfully list 100 ways you are getting in your own way, don't try to change them all at once. Start small. One mistake leaders make is trying to change too much at one time. It is more important to start with a one change and be consistent.
3. ACT and OBSERVE
Change requires action. Your leadership behavior is a combination of your skills and your behaviors. Reward yourself for the actions you take. Then observe the results and consequences of those actions. Observe how much it easier it is to do that new action each time you do it. Take bigger actions the next time. Sometimes you have to grown into success.
What are the common ways you get in your own way? Leave a comment.
Hi there. I'm Julia. Founder, Executive Coach and Leadership Development expert at Brave Communication LLC. Unless noted, I wrote all of the posts here in.