If achieving ambitious goals like reaching one’s full potential or changing a mindset were easy, everyone would do it. However, the path of every worthwhile journey is marked by obstacles at every step of the way. No matter how thorough your preparation when you set out, or how clear your vision along the way, there will be obstacles to overcome. Many people seek to minimize obstacles or to anticipate ways to avoid them, but that's a missed opportunity. It is by clearing obstacles that the journey becomes fulfilling.
Here are some reasons why you should choose to face obstacles head-on:
A chance for outstanding growth – facing an obstacle instead of choosing to avoid it or looking for a workaround is learning more about yourself and the remarkable things you can accomplish when you accept and face a challenge. Once you've faced and conquered an obstacle, you are a different person, even if you can't tell precisely how right away. YAY YOU!
Gives you information to share – great leaders seek to guide and teach others. By making it through a treacherous journey, you have valuable information to share with your team. Also, by allowing others to see you face an obstacle, you help them believe in their ability to tackle challenges and overcome obstacles.
Boosts creativity, patience, and discipline – it's always a good idea to develop essential skills like these, but it's all theory until put into deliberate practice. When you choose to face an obstacle instead of to avoid it, you exercise your creativity in maximizing your resources, your patience as you wait for results to reveal themselves, and your discipline to stay on your chosen path.
Here are some tips to help power through obstacles as you strive to develop your leadership skills and to help your team grow:
Seek to inspire your team – we are only as strong as the people on the path with us. To get the best out of your team, emulate the behaviors and mindset that you want to see from them. Be vulnerable; research shows that vulnerability in leaders is a display of courage. Inspire your team by being courageous.
Use time to your advantage – some obstacles can be anticipated. For the ones that you can see coming, break it down into smaller chunks, and conquer them one by one. Use the time before you meet the obstacle to gather resources and to formulate potential solutions.
Communicate – let others know when you have encountered an obstacle and talk about what you are planning to do to conquer them and ask them for input. You may find that talking about it helps you find a creative solution to your problem and that being trusted as a sounding board brings your team closer together.
Develop and practice a growth mindset – a growth mindset aspires continuous improvement and building on successes. It also helps encourage you to keep going when obstacles prove especially stubborn. However, for many people, it does not come intuitively or easily; it takes practice, and facing barriers head-on is a great chance to practice a growth mindset. Facing an obstacle is great deliberate practice in reminding yourself of your ability to adapt and learn.
Concealed within every obstacle is a reward in the form of an opportunity for growth, development, and to lead by example. Could you use some help in working through obstacles in your workplace? Contact Leadership Delta today! We have the experience and know-how to get you on the right path.