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July 22, 2018

Obstacles to Leadership

Moving into a leadership position means that you have more responsibility, your team views you in a different light, and you are more accountable for results. Some people don’t believe they can do what’s required, so they hang back when opportunities arise.

It’s natural to pause and consider things before making the move to a leadership role, but if you want to move ahead in your career, you need leadership experience. Here are three steps to help you identify and overcome some common obstacles that might be keeping you from stepping up to leadership.

  1. Lack of information. Are you reluctant to assume a leadership role because you don’t know what’s expected of you, or you have heard stories that leadership is not everything people think it is? Address this obstacle by identifying a leader whom you admire and aspire to model. Find out if you can interview them about their role and job and if it is possible to shadow them for a day or two. Prepare a list of questions, so you don’t waste their time.
  2. Fear of failure.Taking on more responsibly requires you to move into new, unfamiliar territory. Change can be frightening, especially when it involves your job and livelihood. You worry that you might not have what it takes. A good antidote to fear is knowledge. Get information as described in the first bullet and do a risk/reward assessment. What do you gain by taking on a larger role? What is the risk if it doesn’t work out? What is the probability it won’t work out? Generally, the worst case is the least likely one. See my blog post Quick Questions for Weighing Options.
  3. Low self-confidence.Unsure if you can handle the job? Once you know what the job entails and have performed a risk/reward assessment, inventory your strengths, focusing on the ones a leadership role requires and identify where you are weak and need improvement. Decide to strengthen those areas while showcasing your strengths. See my blog post Showcase Your Skills for more information.

Your company needs people for leadership roles, especially as Baby Boomers retire. Now is the time for you to tackle any obstacles for stepping up to leadership. See my blog post Position Yourself for Leadership and my program Lead 4 Results.

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