Dealing With Obstacles

Dealing With Obstacles

We’ve all heard that we need to eliminate obstacles to achieve success. You know when you are told by your management or vendors that obstacles are just opportunities waiting to happen. Well, sometimes, but they still have to be handled.

There are 5 types of obstacles

Of course the obstacles are not any different for corporate entrepreneurs than for ordinary business people. There are 5 types of obstacles:

  1. ones that have to be handled
  2. those that we can maneuver around
  3. others that we can delay dealing with
  4. there are ones that must be destroyed
  5. the most stifling, the ones we create

Lets look at each one

Ones that have to be handled – these are obstacles that usually come from a supervisor or is part of a process that your company has implemented. Handling an obstacle like this can be based on urgency, importance or both. It is important to pull from the training, resources and tools you have.

Those that we can maneuver around – these can be deceiving. It may appear that we can just delay dealing with these, however delay will cause pain latter. When corporate entrepreneurs maneuver around an obstacle, they also isolate the obstacle. They then create a protective barrier around the obstacle so it won’t sneak up on them latter.

Delaying dealing with an obstacle can be dangerous. You must take into account the potential benefit and potential downside. If the benefit outweighs the potential risk, then it is an obstacle that can be delayed. It is important to remember, you have to deal with the obstacle sooner or later…usually sooner than you think!

Destroying an obstacle is usually the last choice since it involves destroying something that someone has implemented or built for a reason. When you destroy an obstacle, you must destroy it completely or the people who created it will look at you as an obstacle!

The most difficult obstacles to overcome are the ones we create. These obstacles are tough to overcome. It is hard for use to think rationally, so we create excuses, making the obstacle appear event larger than they really are.

Dealing with obstacles

Let’s look at obstacles…most business people view obstacles as being caused by others, while the corporate entrepreneur understands that the chaos and difficulty of the obstacle is influence by ourselves! We realize that it’s usually due to our ego, lack of effort, efforts misdirected, anger, mind clutter, etc.

The 4 step approach

The first step to is to take a step back and quiet our mind. That’s right, we must take some time to clear our mind and allow ourselves to acknowledge the true source of the obstacle. Then we can address and deal with them one by one until we’ve either eliminated the obstacle or maneuvered around it. As a realist, there are times when we must admit that the obstacle is insurmountable and we must have the patience to wait for a more opportune time to address the obstacle.

Step two is to ask you self the following questions :

  • is this a real obstacle to achieving my task/objective or I am creating it
  • who or what created this obstacle and do I have the ability to influence them to make a change. Is the creator of the obstacle too powerful or politically better situated than I am
  • am I putting in or am I willing to put in the effort needed to deal with this obstacle
  • is this obstacle here because I am going in a direction that is not good for me or for all those involved
  • is this obstacle here because of all the other tasks and objectives I have taken on
  • could the obstacle be warning me I am going against my ethics or better judgement
  • can I handle the consequences of not doing anything about the obstacle

Step three is to take our answers to the questions above and combine them with our corporate wisdom, understanding of the politics, and knowledge about the 5 types of obstacles. With all that we have, it is now time to identify what type of obstacle it is.

Step four is to create the strategy and develop the tactics that will deal with the obstacle in the appropriate manner. Each obstacle has its own set of unique variables so I could not give examples that would matter. If you are having trouble dealing with specific obstacles and would like support, contact Sue at 561-596-7000 and schedule a consultation or check out our event page

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