Unstick Your Stuck to be a Better Leader

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In a recent group coaching session, someone asked me this question: “Earlier you mentioned sticky patterns – what do you mean by that, and what sort of sticky patterns do you see in leaders?”

Sticky patterns are things that you believe, or behaviours that you do, that get in your way of being an inspirational leader.

When you get in your own way as a leader, you subsequently get in other people’s way too, and you end up limiting the potential of your team, and the practice. It results in stunted growth for yourself and others, and the business stagnates and will eventually decline.

Here are a couple of examples:

  1.  Not trusting others

This would show up as someone being a “hovering” leader, micromanaging their team, refusing to delegate, or withholding information, which is essentially removing the autonomy of the team, and disempowering people.   

The sticky patterns behind this might be – perfectionism, the need to control, fear of failure.

  1.  Being resistant to change

In an ideal world, you’d like a smooth running practice with few complaints or challenges, and for it to stay that way forever. We know change is inevitable, but someone in a leadership position may resist it and put in a great amount of energy defending the status quo. Again, this is literally creating an obstacle to growth and evolution. It’s the old, “This is the way things have always been done” attitude which has caused a few problems for the veterinary profession over the years.

The sticky patterns behind this might be – fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, self-doubt, low professional self-esteem.

There are a number of signs you can look out for that would indicate that you have some sticky patterns and are getting in your own way:

  • Your hold back from making bold decisions, or decisions in general.
  • You may find yourself not taking the ideas of others on board very easily, or any views that are different to your own.
  • You may demonstrate a lack of humility and find yourself needing to “win” discussions or situations

Very simply, you will know when you have sticky patterns that you need to unstick from when they prevent growth and forward movement. Think about things you haven’t done or have remained unchanged in the practice for a while, and consider why. What do you avoid doing? What are you scared of doing? The answers to these questions provide valuable clues.

Self-awareness is the foundation to great leadership, and this is one of the pillars my November 2022 cohort will explore throughout The Inspirational Veterinary Leader Revolution.

Are you interested in joining the January 2023 group? Click here to apply.