How to Break Through Barriers as a Leader

April 17, 2017 - 4 minutes read

What is standing in your way?

It’s easy to forget about yourself as a leader. You are probably surrounded by people who are constantly looking at you for advice, leadership, guidance, insight, and support. But what about you? What are you doing to take care of your needs? What about your growth? Do you feel stuck and aren’t sure how to break through barriers as a leader?

The bottom line is that if you aren’t taking care of yourself as a leader, it becomes extremely difficult to help others. Have you become stagnant as a leader? If so, identify exactly what it is that’s standing in your way.

Goals

Chances are that as a leader, you provide your team with some sort of evaluation or review process. Many leaders ask their team to define goals, but they rarely take time to write down their own goals.

The first two major steps in breaking through any barriers that are standing in your way are to:

  1. Identify what is standing in your way
  2. Create goals to overcome those obstacles

A great way to identify what may be standing in your way as a leader is to pay attention to stress triggers. When do you feel the most overwhelmed? Exactly what is it that makes you feel frustrated? Do you lose your composure and if so, when does this happen? What do you think about when you are trying to sleep but can’t?

After identifying potential barriers, think about the next two points before writing out your goals.

Embrace Failure

Most people do their best learning during times of failure. Senses are heightened when we aren’t our best and because it’s evident that we didn’t succeed, we’re more willing to open up and find solutions. As a leader, your reaction should be to find a solution that works and ultimately, learn from any mistakes. It’s unrealistic to think that failure is never going to happen, so as a leader, you should encourage exploration and in turn, accept that failure will happen.

Be uncomfortable

With experience comes comfort and most managers are in a position of leadership because they have some work or life experience under their belt. In order to break through barriers, sometimes it’s necessary to place yourself in a place of discomfort on purpose. Push your personal boundaries and challenge yourself a bit. Like failure, being uncomfortable also heightens senses. When you’re uncomfortable, you tend to pay closer attention to both instruction and execution.

Putting it all together

We published a 3-part series that focuses on creating effective goals and using those goals to not only create opportunity for yourself, but to also communicate your successes. Take time to create goals for yourself and don’t forget: challenge yourself. Force yourself to be uncomfortable and write down a goal even if you think you might fail. Follow through with these goals on your own or hire a business coach to help with follow-up. Don’t forget that your personal growth as a leader is just as important as creating growth for your team.

What do you do as a leader to focus on personal growth and break through barriers that are standing in your way? Share your experience in the comments below.