Four Leadership Problems that Inhibit Growth: Lesson #1

Unidentified and unattended drama always stunts growth, whether it’s in your personal life, your professional life, your leadership role or as a business owner. In the coming weeks, I will spotlight four problems for leaders that inhibit growth. You can apply this practical wisdom at any level of your life from your marriage, to your executive position, to CEO or president of your company.

Problem #1: You don’t know you have a problem.

Denial is a protective mode which eventually stunts your growth.

Until you identify and stop drama, you are merely in protection mode.

According to scientist and author Bruce Lipton, in his book Biology of Belief, “The longer you stay in protection, the more you compromise your growth. In fact, you can shut down growth processes so completely that it becomes a truism that you can be “scared to death.”

Says Bruce, “To fully thrive we must not only eliminate the stressors but also actively seek joyful, loving, fulfilling lives that stimulate growth processes.”

Here are some easy to apply examples of how this problem shows up:

1. Blind Spots

I talk about blind spots in my book, Stop Workplace Drama via the Johari Window—those things about us that others know that we do not know. What is it that you don’t know about yourself that might be holding you back? What glitch is in your systems, your customer service, or your operations that others know but don’t have the courage to point out? For example, I’m leaving a doctor that’s competent in her ability to diagnose and prescribe treatment, however, her lack of good business sense and her inability or unwillingness to stop talking about her personal life has me losing my patience.  I’m sure this lack of awareness will cause her to lose even more patients as time goes on.

2. Denial

I often hear leaders describe drama in terms of what everyone else is doing, when what is needed is for them to shore up their leadership skills. Denial is a protective mode to avoid looking in the mirror. A red flag for me is when a leader only sees what everyone else is doing wrong, and is not seeking awareness on ways to correct or improve upon his|her leadership skills.

3. Patterns

If you always do what you’ve always done you always get what you’ve always got. If you are not able to see the patterns of what keeps happening again and again, you will continue to repeat the mistakes over and over again.

Course-Correction for Problem #1

1. Have a consultant do a 360 feedback or a customer survey to learn about your blind spots.

2. Ask for feedback from your employees, your boss, or your customers so they have permission to help you improve rather than an impulse to leave you.

3. Own the part you play in any problem rather than blaming others.

4. Start measuring your results so you can see patterns that need correcting.

Next week I’ll talk about the second leadership problem that stunts your growth.

marlene2Marlene Chism is a consultant, national speaker and author of Stop Workplace Drama (Wiley 2011). Marlene’s passion is developing wise leaders and helping people to discover, develop and deliver their gifts to the world.

Marlene’s message is spreading across the country at association meetings, corporate retreats, universities and other venues. If interested in exploring speaking or training opportunities please call 1.888.434.9085