The Smart Work


Call to Action

The Pit

Maturity Domains


From Chapter 7:

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 it.

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?

Ask yourself:
Where do you think you personally face the scariest monsters? Name them.
Where do you think your organization faces the worst monsters? Name them.
Are the personal and organizational monsters different?

Click here to explore Monsters within the four domains of Leadership Maturity.