How do you react when you face obstacles?
Is it a challenge to be over-come or a barrier that stops you in your tracks?
Every week I work with executives or professionals who are leading their business efforts in new directions. More often than not, these highly motivated and successful people can become stuck and unable to move forward. It may be a fear, a past experience or a lack of clarity which holds them back from making the progress they desire.
When you “hit the wall”, you can view it as a barrier that will stop you or one in which you will overcome. Alternatively, you can view it as a challenging opportunity leading you to shift and move forward.
Last week at a networking meeting the speaker discussed creativity and leadership. Interestingly enough, he presented examples of how two leading chocolate companies in North America (Hersey and Mars) have navigated the challenges and opportunities in the competitive confectionery world. Over several decades these two companies have jockeyed to be number one. The one common denominator in their path has been how they each have overcome obstacles and converted them into an opportunities to grow and diversify.
Creativity in their thinking and leadership were two key factors. Here are three more tips you can consider when facing obstacles.
1. Keep it Simple.
How many times have you faced an obstacle and viewed it as a huge problem, only to later realize it wasn’t nearly as bad as you first imagined? At first glance, a set back or obstacle may look insurmountable yet a simple change in your perspective, the integration of some creativity and keeping things simple can quickly change the landscape in front of you.
One of simplest steps is to review your current situation and the actions taken to your plan. Observe where you are now and how you got there. Your observation skills will offer valuable information. Gain the insights from your team. Now consider where you want to go and what steps are needed to move you in that direction. Stepping back, giving yourself some space and taking a more strategic look at your business can help simplify and infuse a spark of creativity.
2. Stay Focused
When things get challenging, it is so easy to get distracted by new ideas or things that are within your comfort zone (but may not be moving you and your company forward). If you get distracted in this situation, you are not alone.
One of the best ways to stay focused is to break down your challenges into simple action steps that allow you to make small steps forward to a solution and your goal! Then identify which step you need to work on and set aside time to work on that step. Set a time limit for working on that step. It’s easier to make progress when you know you only have to work on that activity for a short time. Remove yourself from distractions. If your office isn’t working for you, can you move to another room or another location. One of my favourites in the summer is to move outside under a tree where I still have wi-fi. The calm surroundings revitalize my thinking and help spark my creativity and focus.
3. Embrace Support
One of the most important things you can do is to reach out to others for support. If you work with a team, what can they do to help you find the solution or take the necessary steps to over-come your obstacle. Can you delegate or outsource tasks to others. For example, if you have lots of ideas but get blocked by writing, can you record your thoughts and have someone else transcribe your story. If you don’t like marketing yourself, can you hire a marketing person, a copy writer or the services of a Virtual Assistant to connect with potential customers, set appointments etc.
Working with an Executive Business Coach can offer you the support, encouragement and accountability you need to keep moving forward. Your Coach offers a confidential and safe environment to share, explore and overcome obstacles. Together with your Coach, you can brainstorm challenges, identify fears and distractions, face new situations and create a plan. Your Coach can also offer different perspectives, help you explore options , identify action plans, timelines and solutions. A Coach can also help you revitalize your approach, your leadership style and guide you through the changes you need to take to ensure your business is successful under your watch.
A mastermind is another option where you can bring your A-game and build you confidence, expand your network and your thinking. A mastermind, facilitated by and integrated with coaching will create greater results faster – its the key to the success of many top leaders so why shouldn’t you tap into the same system?
Whether the obstacle or challenge you face is a new opportunity, a goal that stretches you outside your comfort zone, a downturn in business or revenues, or a change you must, or want to undertake, these three tips will help you overcome the obstacle and allow you to achieve the results you envision.