Oftentimes I find my biggest obstacle is, well, myself. Some inspiration from the late Randy Pausch has helped me identify how to get out of my own way.
Your Brick Wall is the Mirror—Shatter It
I truly believe we can only reach our fullest potential when we’re challenged.
Challenges are often described as barriers or brick walls that get in our way. I say, those blockades are your greatest opportunities.
As I sit in a leadership conference in Arizona, my thoughts are confirmed and perhaps better articulated as the speaker references the late Randy Pausch, a professor and author of “The Last lecture.” Pausch said, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”
If you’re like me, your brick wall is what you see when you look in the mirror—You get in the way of your own progress. You are your greatest barrier.
Just like all challenges, you have an opportunity for growth when you face the barrier, or the mirror, stare it down and shatter it.
I find most business leaders have difficulty admitting that their leadership style may be their biggest barrier, and even more difficulty tearing it down for two reasons:
This second reason brings me back to my original point—Tackling a growth opportunity does not make you weak, it makes you strong. Stop limiting yourself and start becoming the best version of yourself you can be.
Here’s how to shatter that mirror:
Yes, asking the question is simple, but the answer, especially if it’s truthful, may sting. Actually, if it doesn’t sting, ask again.
Pausch also said, “Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care. Worry when you do something badly and nobody bothers to tell you.”
In this process you’re soliciting criticism, so it’s a bit different, but the message is the same. When a member of your team is honest with you and gives you constructive advice, take it as a compliment. It’s those team members who don’t offer valuable feedback that may not feel invested in the future of your team or company.
Pausch continued his statement on brick walls by saying, “The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Many aren’t strong enough to shatter their mirror, but you are, which is why you’re going to take your business and you’re leadership abilities to the next level and your competitor will not.
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/6014732346/”>kevin dooley</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>