What Leadership Obstacles are Holding You Back?


You’ve probably heard the phrase “natural born leader” before. Maybe people have even used it to describe you. While this can be an incredible compliment, it can also be a hinderance. If you believe that you’re a natural born leader, you may expect that leadership will always come natural to you. You may feel that you’re always supposed to know just what to do next. But that’s not always true. There are many obstacles that leaders face—even the “natural born leader”.

And if you don’t feel that you’re a “natural born leader” than you may struggle when you find yourself in a leadership role. You may think that the obstacles you face are insurmountable because you just don’t know how to lead. It just isn’t you. And that’s not true either. All leaders face obstacles.

If you’re not careful, these obstacles will keep you stuck from developing your leadership skills and growing your business.

Here are some of the most common obstacles that leaders get stuck on:

Fear of [fill in the blank]

There are so many things that can fall under this category. Here are a few that you may relate for you. Fear of:

  • failure
  • success
  • repeating the past
  • looking stupid
  • judgement from others
  • responsibility
  • communicating
  • change

Do you see anything on this list that connects with you?

If fear is holding you back, it’s important to learn how to address it because unfortunately, it’s not going to go away on it’s own.

Lack of knowledge

You don’t know what you don’t know. How many times have you heard that? And yet, it’s so hard to keep in mind at times.

You may feel like you’ve mastered all the steps to get to where you are right now, but you find yourself stuck. Or, you may feel like you had to work twice as hard as you should have to get to where you are. Either way, the obstacle you face could be a lack of knowledge.

Now, let’s get one thing straight. Lack of knowledge is not a bad thing. I think there’s this stigma around admitting that we don’t know something. Instead, many leaders pretend that they know what they’re doing or they pretend that they know what others are talking about when they really have no clue.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you have a knowledge problem. You can be a complete genius in several areas, but still have a lack of knowledge holding you back in others. Admitting this doesn’t mean you’re stupid. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When you can admit that you have a lack of knowledge in an area, it opens the door for you to learn and grow.

Pride or ego

We talked about this a little in the obstacle above, but there are many ways that pride can hurt you and keep you stuck as a leader. Being prideful can stop you from admitting when you need help. It can also stop you from hiring the right people or delegating important tasks.

If you’re always working to keep your ego inflated, chances are you aren’t working in the most effective and efficient way.

Mindset issues

There are several different mindsets that can hold a leader back from excelling. Some common ones include:

  • Fixed mindset: You aren’t open for growth and opportunity yourself and you aren’t as likely to be able to see it in others.
  • Employee mindset: You might be in a leadership position but you’re still thinking like an employee.
  • Hobbyist mindset: You say you want to grow your business but you keep running it like it’s not.

Poor decision making abilities

There are a few different ways this can go. You may find that you are indecisive. You just can’t seem to make a decision even though your business growth depends on it. There are many obstacles that can lead you to this point (you may even find them on this list).

But the opposite is true as well. Your struggle may be that you pull the trigger too fast on making decisions. Instead of putting in the time to research and understand the options, you just make a decision and jump in with both feet. This can be detrimental to a business.

Lack of vision and clarity around goals

Having a list of vague goals isn’t going to cut it when you’re working on growing a business and leading a team along the way. If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, how are you going to communicate it to others? Probably not very well.

It’s important to have a vision for where you want to go, goals to help you get there and plan to follow along the way.

Lack of defined processes

Many small businesses start when the owner jumps in and starts working. That will allow a business to grow for a time. But there will come a time when you need to have defined processes that you’re following. Taking the time to lay these out can help you identify inefficiencies and other areas that need to be addressed. It also makes it easier for you to lead others along the road to success.

Habit challenges

This obstacle can also show up in multiple ways. It may be that you have bad habits that are stopping you from taking the steps that you need to as a leader. It could also be that you are inconsistent with your habits. You may constantly work on implementing changes and then slack off on sticking to them. You see the impact that they can make, you just can’t seem to stay consistent with them.

How do you overcome these obstacles?

The exact way that you overcome your obstacle is going to vary based on what obstacle you’re facing. That can make it difficult to figure out what to do next and where to get started. Let me make it easy for you—let a SPEARity coach help you!

If you can admit to yourself that you’re struggling with one or more of the obstacles above as a leader, that’s great. It means that you’re ready to start taking steps to address them and make positive changes. A SPEARity business coach can guide you along the path and show you where to go and what to do next.

If you want to get started overcoming your obstacles, give us a call today!

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