Leaders face obstacles.
There are challenging personality differences, time constraints, limited financial resources. There are blind corners, unforeseen twists and turns, rapid changes. Some obstacles block us from seeing the larger picture, some are precipices where the ground disappears under your feet.
There are people in leadership positions who are very good at avoiding obstacles. Some people try to avoid obstacles by going over them. They are visionary, and their words lift the people around them to new heights. Some people try to wait their way around obstacles. Some people apparently believe that if they ignore obstacles they will evaporate. Some believe that they can plan for every possible challenge. Some act on the assumption that together we can push our way through any barrier.
I have come to appreciate that the obstacles we face have lessons to teach us. I learn a great deal about myself and my leadership from the obstacles I recognize and overcome, and even the obstacles I create.
The leaders who inspire me are honest about the existence of obstacles and challenges. They recognize and appreciate the lessons we will learn, the areas in which we will grow, and the sacrifices we will need to make on our way through the challenges. Their leadership helps us find new ways to work together more effectively.
They know that facing obstacles together is another way for us to put our shared values into practice.
The leaders who inspire me can see that the obstacles we face today are not only about meeting our immediate goals. Each is an opportunity to try, learn, and grow.
We learn more from the seeking and trying than we do from the finding.
What is your most challenging obstacle today?
How does your leadership help the people around you find a way through?
[Image by FutUndBeidl]