What gets in the way of our effectively assuming leadership,
whether in our own life or in our organizations? What prevents us
from seeing our dreams realized, from fully owning our potential for
greatness, however that might manifest itself?
The external obstacles are easily identified — limited
resources (such as money and time), negative attitudes and/or lack
of organizational commitment, unexpected changes in the environment,
be they economic, political and/or social, micromanagers and the constant
crises that result from a management system geared to fire-fighting.
Yet at the root, each of these obstacles simply masks deeper issues.
For it is never the crisis or the issue itself that is the obstacle
on the path to our success, much as we may seduce ourselves into blaming
Ultimately, the real monsters we face on our leadership journey
are the ones carried inside, monsters that are illuminated by our
responses. Do we declare defeat the first time it is announced there
aren’t enough resources, or do we decide to get creative? Do
we figure out ways to move from reactive to proactive in a system
that thrives on setting fires and then putting them out? Do we allow
ourselves to be defined and defeated by micromanaging bosses, or accept
that taking flak is part of the job if we want to see something bigger
accomplished? When we don’t get the support we hunger for, do
we have strength enough to provide it to the team anyway? Are the
changes in the environment really the crisis, or is this crisis our
lack of resilience, our unwillingness to learn, our own failure to
see the opportunities that also accompany the changes?