Whenever you embark on anything that is strategic in nature, especially with a strategy that is new or bold, you are more than likely to encounter forces that can deter you or roadblocks that can interfere with your efforts.
When this happens, some leaders simply give up. However, strategic leaders have the perseverance needed to overcome the challenges because they recognize that making adjustments and managing challenges is just part of the strategic process.
In fact, some strategic leaders’ resolve is strengthened by the challenges and obstacles in their way, and they push through less-than-ideal circumstances all the harder.
If you find that you have hit a roadblock with your long-term plans and strategies, it’s important for you to recognize that obstacles are a natural part of any strategic endeavor.
They are to be expected, and you need to move forward in spite of them.
Let me share a couple of tips and suggestions that might renew your energy, focus, and commitment if you are feeling a little bit stuck with your strategies and plans:
- When you encounter adversity or a setback with your strategy—and you will—immediately step back so you can get an objective and accurate assessment of the situation. Being able to see the problem from a different angle will help you identify adjustments that need to be made to the strategy or some different approaches to try as you execute on your plans. Sometimes just taking a breather provides the rejuvenation needed to tackle obstacles with renewed energy or sustain a prolonged strategic campaign.
- Revisit your ultimate objective or strategic target so you can be sure you are still working on the right things. You need to be willing to consider the possibility that the obstacles and setbacks you are experiencing are signs that your strategic target has shifted or changed. On the other hand, they could also simply be obstacles that have surfaced and need to be addressed.
- Seek input and guidance from your team, mentors, and/or your network. People who aren’t as close to the situation as you are may be able to see things from a different perspective or provide the experience needed to help you get back on track.
- Denis Waitley said, “Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.” Strategic leaders draw on their personal drive and determination to work through upsets and letdowns. Don’t get discouraged, and be patient with the process. Remain steady when the going gets tough, and do what you can to manage your emotional responses and take control of your circumstances. The way you react to obstacles is influenced by the thoughts and beliefs you have about the obstacle itself. If your thoughts and beliefs about the challenge are negative or dysfunctional, your behaviors are likely to be self-defeating. On the other hand, if you allow your thoughts to be more flexible, optimistic, and realistic, your behaviors and emotional reactions are more likely to produce positive outcomes. We can’t choose the types of roadblocks we will encounter, but we can choose how we react to them.
No matter how much you try to avoid them, obstacles and adversity can and will enter every aspect of your life at some point. Dealing with setbacks, both large and small, is just a part of everyday life. The same is true when you are executing on longer-term plans.
Remember, you are capable of achieving much more than you may think, so let your passion for long-term success drown out the doubts in your mind and provide the momentum you need to push through.