‘My showstopper is getting stuck in detail. It’s time consuming and takes my attention away from what I know is important.’ This was Paulo’s observation of his first 4 weeks stepping up into an executive role. Useful insight…

And then after a pause, he had an insight: ‘And it’s my safe place.’

Boom! That’s the real attraction. When there were so many important issues competing for his attention that he felt overwhelmed, Paulo retreated to the safety of the detail.

Awareness is always the first step to change. Becoming consciously aware of this unhelpful behaviour, and the intention behind that, helped him to develop strategies to stay in the strategic space.

What is your leadership showstopper? Clue: It’s probably a ‘strength in excess’ – something you are good at (perhaps even known for) that when overplayed becomes a leadership derailer.

This model may help you:

Discover: Building awareness. What’s the problem or opportunity? What is your behaviour? What is the impact on you? On others? What is not happening that you would like to be happening instead?

Decode: Understanding motivation. What’s your intention behind the derailing behaviour? What is the deeper driver of this behaviour?

Design: Creating an alternate pathway forward. How can you quickly identify when this is happening? What action can you take to have your motivation met in a more useful way?

Paulo discovered that the impact on him of focusing on the detail was the loss of his ability to think strategically. The impact on his team was frustration and disempowerment. He was – in a flash of insight and self-honesty – able to decode his focus on detail as a flight to safety – something he knew and felt good about. He designed flags to help him identify when he was moving into detail, and alternative strategies to immediately put in place.

How could you use this framework to prevent your leadership showstopper derailing your leadership – and your career?

Go Fearlessly – Corrinne


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