Leadership Challenges: The Walls In Our Lives

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We have all experienced walls or challenges in our work lives. How you handle the walls may be a defining point in your leadership and your career. There are a variety of ways to attach these walls ? some more effective than others.

Just level it ? It is in our way.
If the wall is causing a problem, we just need to get rid of it. This approach requires nothing but mindless action. We flail away at the problem with minimal success. We act with no sense of purpose or deep understanding of the outcome. But the problem can come back and transform into one big hairy monster.

It worked before ? It should work again.
Sometimes, we assume that all walls can be conquered with the same approach. We stare at it and remember last year's plan. But all walls are different. Fresh approaches are needed and expected in today's business environment.

Delay, delay, delay.
The wall is in front of us, but we hope it will go away. However, it will not shrink or disappear. Rather, it will become more menacing the longer it is allowed to stand.

Deny, deny, deny.
We can conquer this situation; but why should we? It really is not a problem. But, we know it is. The wall creates a personal fear. We avoid the struggle. However the challenge must be engaged. But how?

Practice the three A's of managing change.
The first A is assessment. What is the real wall that I'm confronting? Why does it exist? Have I created it through my behavior? Step away and gain a clear perspective of the problem. The next step is the need for an agenda. How am I going to attack the wall? What should my approach be in removing the wall? What is my plan? Finally take action. Develop a plan and execute it. Throw procrastination out; dump denial and move forward. Your confidence is up; you understand the actions it will take; and you have prepared. Now is the time to attack the walls.

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job ? to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management. Subscribe by going to and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks ? resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs ? fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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