For subscribers only

Leadership 101: Part 8 – Barriers to Leadership

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

 “With great power comes great responsibility” …and significant barriers. Knowing that leadership is not an easy skill to buy is essential. There are barriers that you may come across during your development as a leader. Here are a few to help you be aware of them. 



Being Open to Feedback  

Even when we feel that criticism is unfair and subjective, it is best to learn from it. 


Here are three ways to respond to feedback proposed by the Harvard Business Review:  


Do not react at once: Feedback should not be dismissed when given. Being calm and respectful allows the space for the feedback to be heard. Most people who supply feedback have had an intention, the intention being to improve something. You might disagree with the opinion, but it might trigger a good thinking process. 


Understand the feedback: Since they've of constructive feedback is to improve. It is essential to understand what we are being asked to correct. Make the other person feel heard by asking questions to clarify their point and supply insight into the feedback's reason. You can use an old therapist trick to rephrase what you have listened to ensure it is understood clearly. 


Do not let it get to you: It might come across as you are the problem, or the problem is directly connected to one of your behaviors. If that is the case, do not let personal criticism get to you and your confidence. Use the information to help you grow and let go of what you cannot control (such as people’s opinions of you). 


Moving Into Action  


People will get stuck in the planning mode; implementing a change or an action is more complicated than it looks. Do not get stuck in the e-planning, and make sure you take small daily steps toward your goal. Another aspect that will stop you from moving into action is getting stuck in the busy pace of life. Not having time is an excuse for not acting; the reason is that you did not make your goal a priority. 


Accepting Responsibility for Mistakes  


Leadership comes at a price, the spotlight is often on you, and if you do not accept the responsibility for your mistakes, people will notice it. To be a great leader, you need to be a role model and show others that it is OK to make mistakes. Mistakes do not define who you are; they define who you were and allow you to grow and become a better version of yourself. 


Facing Disagreement   


Learn to embrace conflict and disagreement so you do not take it personally. Leaders thrive in conflict and competition. They know that adversity will bring growth and improvement. Conflict resolution might be one of the most challenging aspects of relationships, but when you learn to be comfortable with them, you do not run away when they happen. 


Confidence When Facing Failure  


Failures are imminent when you are trying something new or trying to change. It might be a big or a minor failure. As a leader, you need to see failure as an opportunity to gain experience on why it did not work and what needs to change. As Thomas A. Edison sophisticatedly said: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” 


Maintaining Focus 


As a leader, it is often straightforward to be distracted. You need to figure out ways to stay on track to your goal and reduce all the distractions that stir you away from your accomplishment. Because you will be known to be analytical, you will be consistently interrupted by others to help them with their problem. 


Find ways to empower others to be leaders in their life and remove some of the tasks you do for them. 


Humility Versus Success 


When you become famous or successful as a leader, humility can quickly disappear from your qualities. While humility is essential in great leaders, you can ensure you do not lose it by always being aware of others and their contributions. Be a collaborative member of society. Stay true to your integrity; know who you are and where you are going. 


Learn When to Step Aside 


Leaders may often be seen as being in front of the pack, but like Simon Sinek’s latest book title, “Leaders eat last.” That is a lesson we can learn from great military leaders. Allowing others to lead the group or the goal is good and mostly very motivating to the group. Be aware that you do not always have to produce solutions or ideas; allow the space to get help from others. 


Now that we have discussed the barriers to leadership, let us explore the blueprint that will lead you to become a successful leader in all aspects of your life. 

Subscriber content only

To access this content and all of our unlimited content subscribe now