Today’s challenge of leadership is plagued with obstacles we’d do well to acknowledge. Drawn from hundreds of exec coaching hours, here are 16 inspiring thoughts to meet that challenge.
The challenge of leadership is not a theoretical classroom debate of models, frameworks and best practice. It is a real-world, day-to-day challenge, existing mostly at the behavioural (rather than technical) level; and built of home-grown, hard-earned qualities; and plagued with obstacles we’d do well to acknowledge.
So, drawn from hundreds of executive coaching hours: here is the challenge of leadership, laid bare, given a name and (I trust, usefully!) given a new-thinking fix. To help you meet your leadership challenge.
1. Impostor Syndrome
- Challenge: Feeling unworthy or fraudulent.
- New Thinking: I am deserving of my achievements.
2. Ostrich Syndrome
- Challenge: Head in the sand, to avoid uncomfortable or inconvenient facts.
- New Thinking: Love the turn-around: answer the difficult question.
- Challenge: It’s never good enough.
- New Thinking: Done is better than perfect
4. People Pleasing
- Challenge: Path of least resistance that fails to serve.
- New Thinking: People Serving is a gift.
- Challenge: An attitude of negativity and mistrust.
- New Thinking: My new focus is resilience: to recover from setbacks.
6. Driven by Fear
- Challenge: The autopilot that undermines our success.
- New Thinking: Get creative and expansive: in your goals; and your beliefs.
7. Going to Excess
- Challenge: Emotional emptiness or fear of failure?
- New Thinking: Slow down and embrace a new pace.
8. Goal Obsession
- Challenge: Sacrificing the larger mission in pursuit of the goal.
- New Thinking: Am I forgetting my mission and purpose?
9. Adding Value
- Challenge: Tweaking the plan to make it mine.
- New Thinking: The idea is good enough. Let them have it.
10. Passing Judgement
- Challenge: Our high standards are ours, not everyone else’s.
- New Thinking: Does this need to be said, by me, now?
11. Being Negative
- Challenge: Explaining why that won’t work, when not asked.
- New Thinking: Focus on solutions.
12. Hoarding Information
- Challenge: Believing that withholding info is competitive advantage.
- New Thinking: Take the longer-term view for greater profitability.
13. Claiming Credit
- Challenge: Grabbing a piece of the fame.
- New Thinking: Let them enjoy the win. Help them celebrate!
14. Making Excuses
- Challenge: Sidestepping the issues and being dishonest – with ourselves.
- New Thinking: Take 100% responsibility for the reality we create.
15. Passing the Buck
- Challenge: More self-preservation sidestepping!
- New Thinking: Step up and take responsibility.
16. Clinging to the Past
- Challenge: Refusing to accept new evidence.
- New Thinking: Time to move on, afresh.