Solution Saturday: Afraid to Leap

Dear Dan,

How can I overcome my fear of taking on new challenges and developing new skills. I have an opportunity to lead a team but I’m afraid to take the leap.

I’d really like to get ahead.

Thank you in advance,


the future belongs to those who develop their strengths.png

Dear Apprehensive,

Congratulations on earning an opportunity for advancement. New opportunities feel uncertain.

#1. Is this an opportunity? If you are young, expand your experiences. Test your wings. Say yes. But, if you’re older, use long-term goals to evaluate this opportunity. Does leading a team take you where you want to go?

#2. What do others see in you? There must be reasons you earned this opportunity. What are they? Strengths build your future, not weaknesses.

#3. How might you find new applications for your strengths and talents?

#4. Identify new behaviors and skills. New opportunities require new skills. If you don’t need new skills, it may not be an opportunity.

#5. Interview leaders who successfully lead teams. Focus on how they developed. You can’t understand the path by watching the end result.

You may feel discourged when you ignore the process of development and look only at the result.

Ask experienced leaders:

  1. What behaviors and skills are important for leading teams?
  2. What did you do to develop your skills?
  3. What were some of the more difficult aspects of developing your skill?
  4. What did you overcome?
  5. What common mistakes might I anticipate?
  6. What suggestions do you have for someone developing that skill?
  7. What important milestones did you encounter while developing your skill?
  8. What, if anything, are you currently doing to develop your skill?
  9. Who else might I speak with about this skill?
  10. What should I ask you?

#6. Try on new behaviors in safe environments. Roleplay may feel weird, but it’s better than crash and burn.

#7. Transform observers into helpers.

  1. Explain the results you’re trying to achieve.
  2. Ask observers for suggestions.
  3. Test out different approaches.

New achievements begin with new skills.

The future belongs to leaders who develop their strengths.

You have my best,

Leadership Freak

What suggestions do you have for “Apprehensive?”