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A Quick Guide to Overcoming the Three Most Persistent Obstacles to Personal Growth
Personal Best Consulting -- Dr. Leif H. Smith Personal Best Consulting -- Dr. Leif H. Smith
Columbus , OH
Tuesday, August 19, 2014


A Quick Guide to Overcoming the Three Most Persistent Obstacles to Personal Growth


In my work as an executive coach, I consistently come across people that want to grow and achieve more success in their career, but don't. For whatever reason, they consistently set goals and then fail to achieve them, frustrating themselves and those around them. They basically get in their own way! This process becomes a self-defeating cycle, and the frustration mounts, as well as the stress, leading not only to failures on the job but damage to their psychological and physical well-being via persistent stress. With that being said, here are three easily identified and self-produced obstacles to success, as well as some ways in which you can help others succeed at work and in life:

Obstacle #1: Lack of Education

A lack of education seldom has to do with formal schooling, as most people think. It has to do with being curious about your surroundings and having a desire to know "why" something is the way it is, or "why" a particular process works better in a given situation. Too many people simply fail to educate themselves. They don't get the facts they need, and the information from those that succeeded prior, and simply stumble and bumble their way through work and life.

Solution: Focus on both content (the "what") and the process ("the how") when working to get more out of your employees. Teaching content is easy-and can be taught rather quickly via didactic seminars or online education. Teaching your employee "how"-as in how to problem-solve, how to handle customer objections, or how to accelerate the sales process with new clients, is extremely effective.

Obstacle #2: A "Fix it" Mindset

When your employees focus on fixing problems, they become more valuable to your company, right? Wrong. When we focus on fixing things-taking corrective action due to a problem produced earlier-the end result is simply the status quo. Contrast this with an innovative mindset, where employees don't wait for problems to appear, but rather, focus their efforts on improving products and processes on a daily and weekly basis. The former stagnates growth, and the latter accelerates it.

Solution: Problems will arise in everyday work, and they need to be addressed quickly and efficiently. However, more time needs to be spent on innovation and improving already-strong products and processes. Make sure that this becomes policy rather than lip-service.

Obstacle #3: Poor Self-Esteem

Poor self-esteem is an enormous obstacle to growth. It reveals itself in insidious ways: Failure to work towards the big promotion, making excuses for poor performance, extreme shyness, consistently tardiness, and failure to meet agreed upon objectives. Self-esteem has to be viewed as a  precious resource that needs to be constantly renewed, and for your company to succeed, you need employees that believe deep down in their hearts that they belong, and that they have value to bring to the table at every turn.

Solution: Find ways to encourage your employees' appropriate risk taking, such as suggestions for product or process improvement, open-door communication policies, and awarding innovation and going the extra mile in customer service. Encourage them to spend time with family and loved ones, and to pursue hobbies and athletic pursuits in and outside of work.
















Copyright (2014) Leif H. Smith. All Rights Reserved. 


Leif H. Smith, Psy.D, is the President of Personal Best Consulting, located in Columbus, Ohio. He specializes in improving personal and organizational performance.

Dr. Leif H. Smith
Personal Best Consulting
Hilliard, OH