Three Obstacles to Taking the Lead and How to Overcome Them

You are good at what you do.  You might well see plenty of opportunities to do things better.  Maybe you even criticise or complain about what your bosses are doing or not doing.

Of course moving from being the observer to being the leader is a big step.

There’s several obstacles to overcome.  Some of them familiar and some not.

So what are 3 common obstacles to taking the lead and how can you overcome them?

Obstacle 1: Yourself

You might not have been thinking this would be the first obstacle.  Here’s why I see it as the biggest obstacle.

You may have heard the phrase “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right”

In essence if you think that taking the lead will be a challenge you are right.  If you also believe that you can handle them then you are in the right frame of mind for success.

Conversely if you see the challenges are insurmountable you will never step out of what’s comfortable.

How to overcome:  Take charge of your thinking.  Separate fact from fiction.  See challenges as opportunities to grow and develop personally and professionally.

Obstacle 2: The Comfort Zone

If you are performing brilliantly at a certain level, why step out of your comfort zone?  It’s a good question.

My answer.  When you step out of the comfort zone or move beyond the familiar you grow exponentially.  When I look at the times when I really grew personally and professionally, it was when I was thrown in at the deep end.  When I had to deliver even when I wasn’t sure how.

How to overcome:  Start small.  Take small steps outside of the familiar.  Build your confidence.  Recognise that nothing really bad happens.

Obstacle 3: Skills or experience gaps

You might say that you are not ready.  You don’t have the skills.  You don’t have experience.

This might be true and it might not be.  One thing I know from experience is that in reality you are never ready, even when you believe you are.

How to overcome:  Move forward from where you are.  Focus your development activity on the gaps that will help you most.  Accept you are always work in progress.

In reality there will always be challenges when you take the lead.  Equally there is often a sense of real fulfilment when you achieve despite those challenges.