So many leaders can be both ready to grow and accelerate results while also being hesitant and concerned. This push and pull represents the complexity of life as a leader. I created the term “leadership hesitation” as a way discuss this dynamic with clients. They want to move forward but they are hesitating and maybe even procrastinating.
You know you are in the Leadership Hesitation Zone when:
You have a major decision to make but have not identified next steps
You have an urgent project to complete but just don’t seem to find the time
You have a key stakeholder waiting on you for an answer and you delay it
You want to take action to progress an initiative but are unfocused and busy
Do any of these sound like your behavior over the past month? If so, read on to gain three new strategies to breakthrough leadership hesitation.
I want to make the distinction between hesitation and procrastination.
Hesitation is a temporary pause that you may or may not be conscious of doing. You may be hesitating because you are uncertain, need more information or have more work to do before you can take action. Whereas, I define procrastination is that you typically know what do do and even how to do it but you are putting it off.
Regardless of how you define the behavior, it has serious consequences for you as a leader and for your entire team. It will definitely impair your performance and results.
Here are a few strategies to breakthrough leadership hesitation:
Identify the specific decision or action required and what you may be hesitating about. Do you need more information, time to take the action and/or other input to move things ahead? Get very specific.
Determine your desired outcome from progressing things. What new result do you want to create? Who is involved? What do you achieve? When you re-connect with the desired outcome, it often gives you further clarity as to what’s needed next. It may also give you the courage and energy to move ahead.
Assess the perceived risk honestly. What is the actual risk of taking this action or making this decision? How will you manage/minimize risk? What is your risk tolerance? Define these aspects of risk and you will establish more commitment to progress things.
So, where are you noticing “leadership hesitation” and what will you do about it this week?
Reach out if you’d like to schedule your own VIP Day to work together one-on-one to breakthrough your leadership hesitation. We can get together in Los Angeles or San Francisco for your Strategic Planning VIP Day!
Weekly Uplevel Practice
Take time this week identifying what “leadership hesitation” looks like for you. You may be very clear that you are hesitating or you may be a bit sneaky about it. Most leaders have some form of hesitation and, quite frankly, sometimes that is required but often it holds back performance and results.
What is your particular version of leadership hesitation?
Begin to identify it by being curious, without judgment. Then explore the above strategies to begin addressing it.