As a leader, your biggest obstacle is probably yourself.
I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders across the globe, from small startups to the world’s largest corporations, and they all tend to have one thing in common: they stand in their way. As perfectionists, they’re their harshest critic.
1. You’re constantly freaking out.
Leaders who view the world with a scarcity perspective tend to lead through fear and control. Having the belief that resources are limited tends to drive them to be motivated by the fear of not gaining what they want, or potentially losing what they already have.
Thinking this way can quickly become a problem for your employees. Leading with fear often causes a rift in communication which in return hurts your team’s morale and energy levels.
I know how easy it can be to start freaking yourself out. Will you make payroll? Are your staff going to quit? What if you can’t hit your targets? Deep breaths. Yes, these are all scary outcomes. But try not to create a problem unless there is one.
2. You keep sizing up the competition.
Stop determining your self-worth through a comparative lens. One of the easiest ways to do this is to stop comparing your hustle to someone else’s highlight reel.
In other words, don’t compare yourself to your competitors. I ignore what mine are doing. It gives me a sense of freedom and allows me to lead from a place of innovation rather than playing catch-up.
3. You’re out of touch.
When was the last time you felt inspired?
If you can’t remember the answer, then it’s time to start seeking new ideas and ways of thinking, even if they’re entirely outside of your industry. I love podcasts. They’re perfect on my commute and have inspired to me to adopt and learn new ways of thinking.
A leader who exposes themselves to a healthy mindset has the potential to expand the success of themselves and the people they lead.
4. You fear failure.
Start looking at mistakes as opportunities– because they’re going to happen. No matter how much planning you do, someone somewhere is going to drop the ball (and it will probably be you). So accept your fate and move forward.
Some of my greatest lessons came from my biggest mistakes. For example, I used to think that to be a good boss, I had to be everyone’s friend. I never got involved in office disputes, focused solely on positive feedback and avoided confrontation at all costs. And guess what? My staff weren’t happy. In fact, many of them were on the verge of quitting.
Instead of hiding in my office and pretending like everything was fine, I faced the music. Was it painful? Absolutely. It’s incredibly difficult to hear critical feedback, especially from so many people. But they were right, and I’m a much better leader for it.