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How to Solve Five Issues that Sabotage Success

Doubt leaders who never doubt themselves.

Fools rush in. Wise leaders feel enthusiasm and concern when accepting new responsibilities.

Leaders who rush in:

  1. Have ambition that minimizes caution, blinds to weaknesses, and pollutes judgement.
  2. Don’t appreciate the impact of new responsibilities on organizations and teams. They cause problems because they see themselves as individual contributors.
  3. Need to see, accept, and compensate for personal limitations.

Trust leaders who know and acknowledge their weaknesses.

5 issues when accepting new responsibilities:

#1. Meaningful challenge.

  1. How meaningful is the project, problem, or initiative?
  2. How do new responsibilities align with personal goals, motivations, and talents?
  3. What does success look like?

Mediocrity is inevitable when outcomes are fuzzy.

#2. Support of top leadership.

  1. Who stands behind you? How?
  2. Do you feel a sense of mission?
  3. Is the new role top-of-mind or on the fringes of organizational life?
  4. Will your success be a badge of honor for higher-ups?

#3. Adequate status.

  1. How will others respond to your requests or direction?
  2. How is top leadership elevating your status?
  3. What new resources are at your disposal?

#4. Obstacles and resistance.

  1. What could go wrong?
  2. Who or what will resist, roadblock, or sabotage progress?
  3. Is top leadership aware of potential issues? Do they minimize the challenges you’ll face?

Trustworthy leaders look problems in the eye; untrustworthy minimize and explain away.

#5. Compensate for weakness.

Fools think they do everything well.

  1. What weaknesses sabotage your success? The weakness you don’t see destroys you.
  2. Is top leadership fully aware of your strengths and weakness?
  3. How will you compensate for weakness?
  4. How does top leadership provide support for your weaknesses? Do they just say, “Get it done,” without acknowledging challenges? Successful teams compensate for each other’s weaknesses.

New challenges bring out new strengths and weaknesses.

What issues should leaders address when accepting new opportunities, challenges, or responsibilities?

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