The Leading Edge
Your Guide to Turning Barriers into Bridges
Welcome to “The Leading Edge: Your Guide to Turning Barriers into Bridges!” My intent in writing these monthly missives is to provoke internal conversation, invoke your personal greatness, and invite you to embrace leadership of your own life-all with compassion and, yes, fun!
Let’s start with a success story. One of my clients, a lovely guy, is an entrepreneur committed to the success of his business. And it shows. His 5-year-old company is flourishing – even in this economy!
This man came to coaching loving his work, yet feeling overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out. We quickly pin-pointed a major stress trigger – the interruptions that came with his role and his business. Then, with curiosity and honesty, he clarified which bits of various interruptions were within his control or influence and which weren’t.
What’s remarkable is how this insight freed him to work on his business rather than in it, to gain clarity about the kind of leader he wanted to be, and to take his business to the next level. This guy actually turned his barrier into a bridge.
You can, too!
The first step: Identify the barrier
Knowing exactly what we’re dealing with helps us recognize when it’s been transformed into something else. But this process isn’t always comfortable, especially when our barriers turn out to be our own limiting beliefs or lack of skills. Stepping into leadership of our own lives at this point can support us in boldly and compassionately naming the barrier, and even owning it if need be.
So with compassion and curiosity, put the problem out in front of you and take a closer look.
- Is it within your control? (Your response to circumstances, for example.)
- If it’s not within your control, is it within your influence? (If you’re not sure how you influence situations, think of a time when you did. What made the difference? Could you influence this new situation with any of those proven strategies?)
- Is this barrier something you have no control or influence over? (The weather, for instance.)
Congratulations!! Without blame or defensiveness, you’ve defined the problem and put it out in front, away from yourself. Now finding the solution can be a treasure hunt rather than a flurry of finger-pointing.
Next step: Identify the bridge
What are you aiming to turn that barrier into? With compassion and curiosity, either on your own or with others facing this barrier with you, take a look ahead.
- Why is it important to turn this barrier into a bridge?
- Where do you want the bridge to take you? What will it be like on the other side?
Finally: Identify a few next steps
Identify a few next steps that will get you over the bridge. Commit to these steps and agree on accountability.
I’d love to hear how you’ve turned barriers into bridges and what those strategies have done for your business and your life. Write firstname.lastname@example.org.