4 Leadership Blocks

By Adele Spraggon

When I first started teaching leadership classes to women, like most experts, I believed that blocks to success fall under recognizable behaviours such as procrastination. However, I quickly came to realize that human beings are much more creative than that!

Consider that there are four different styles of leadership blocks: The Learner, The Doer, The Thinker, and The Avoider. Avoiders are the ones who demonstrate those typical blocked behaviours like procrastination, but what of the other three styles? How could they be blocks?

Let’s start with Learners. Learning is a noble pursuit, a path to self-improvement. Indeed, in today’s society, training or education is thought of as being essential for success. But if we are a blocked Learner, we don’t apply our knowledge. We can never ‘know’ enough. We don’t trust our own inner expert. This may have us impulsively jumping ship – abandoning our current course of study in favour of yet another expert’s program. Unfortunately, because learning is so highly praised, this can go on for decades before Learners wake up to the fact that they are getting nowhere.

But ‘doing’ may not be the answer either. Those who tend to be Doers are highly accomplished and good at a great many things. They make multi-tasking look effortless. But doing for others at the expense of their own dreams can quickly block their path to success. Doers like to feel needed, which has them impulsively saying yes. If you are a blocked Doer, you are often surrounded by needy, helpless people. Unfortunately, Doers rarely recognize that this is a result of not allowing others to do for themselves.

Lastly, those who are Thinkers are the visionaries of our time. They are often intelligent, able to communicate clearly and articulate complex ideas. Great Thinkers in our society get lasting recognition (even though, to a Thinker, recognition is not particularly important.) Thinkers get blocked when they believe that all answers can be found within. They trust their inner expert, sometimes to the exclusion of useful input from others. Far from impulsive, Thinkers like to contemplate everything from different angles before making a decision. This can lead to analysis-paralysis. And their need to ‘go-it-alone’ can result in worry and even panic attacks. 

But being blocked can be a benefit in disguise. People in my classes who have been blocked for months or years find they have skills, talents, and resources connected to that block. Once the block is removed, all that time spent learning, doing, and thinking is ready to be actioned in a productive direction. And the move from blocked to unblocked provides them with the depth of wisdom that makes a great leader.

So if you see yourself in one of these four groups, try using one of the other styles. Thinkers can reach out and ask for help. Doers, take a moment to reflect by asking yourself, “What do I want?” Learners, consider that you just might be the expert in this situation. And Avoiders, do one thing that takes you in the direction of your goal. As you remove your block, the gift of your natural style will emerge and the inner leader in you will be unleashed!

AdeleSpraggonAdele Spraggon is the CEO of Shaped Within Ltd. and the creator of the PatternMaker 101 Breakthrough Program. She has helped hundreds of women launch powerful businesses or get to the next level in their careers using a 4-step proven method that eliminates the fears and limiting beliefs that block aspiring leaders. To determine what is keeping you stuck visit www.shapedwithin.com

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    […] if you feel blocked by fears or limiting beliefs access my article in this month’s Alive and Awake and when you have finished reading please feel free to book a complimentary strategy session with […]

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