10 Ways to Grow into Challenges

Certainty is a symptom of ignorance.

You’re never fully up to real challenges. If you feel prepared for the challenge, it’s really just business as usual.


The top 12 leadership challenges:

  1. Dealing with ego and developing humility.
  2. Building environments where there’s a sense of pull rather than push.
  3. Establishing mutually supportive relationships with the board, boss, colleagues, subordinates, and customers.
  4. Overcoming failure and navigating success.
  5. Understanding others and developing the team.
  6. Creating wins.
  7. Facing turbulence.
  8. Uncertain results.
  9. Emerging competition.
  10. Untested leadership skills, no track record.
  11. Including fresh, young blood on the team.
  12. Finding time for reflection.

Challenges bring out your best when they:

  1. Inspire humility.
  2. Motivate preparation.
  3. Drive connection.
  4. Fuel growth.

Success requires humility, preparation, connection, and growth.

Leadership growth represents organizational potential.

How to grow into challenges:

You grow a little on your own, but exponential growth happens in community, while facing challenges together.

  1. Determine if you’re committed to personal growth and improvement.
  2. Stop dragging the past behind you. Cut the rope and start fresh. Connect with those who release you from past failure.
  3. Identify an important leadership challenge. What are you trying to accomplish?
  4. Paint an alluring picture of the win in conversation with power players, colleagues, subordinates, and customers. What does the win look like?
  5. Determine leadership skills – in behavioral terms – that move yourself and others toward the win. (One to three skills, no more.) Leadership success begins with you but always ends with influencing others. What behaviors take you there?
  6. Invite key players to participate in your growth. Include them in steps 2 – 5.
  7. Set quarterly milestones for evaluation. How are we moving toward the win?
  8. Establish frequent feedback structures.
  9. Celebrate improvement.
  10. Adjust strategies where progress is slow. Start again.

Essential: Personal and organizational progress must be defined in behavioral terms. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter.

What is on your list of top leadership challenges?

How can leaders grow into challenges?