The biggest single block to success is……..

About a year ago, I met a very senior chap who’d resigned with the aim to work for himself as an interim manager. He said he wasn’t able to get things done in his company. That there were too many barriers in his way. That his colleagues showed no sense of dynamism or urgency. That there was too much politicking.

A couple of months later I met him again. He was two months into his handover period. He looked brighter, more alive and energised. Was he enjoying his ‘handover holiday’? Well, it seems he was, but for unexpected reasons. He told me he had canned projects he should have canned months ago. He used the savings to fund high potential, ‘no-brainer’ projects he had left to rot. He had performance shortfall conversations with colleagues which he had been avoiding. In short he said he had become a ‘whirlwind of productive activity’. Far from trying to stop him, people all around him were fully supportive.

What was the lesson? I guess it’s obvious really and will sound patronising if I tell you, so I’ll use his words. “I now realise that all the barriers I saw, were simply created by me. They weren’t real. In many ways, I was using them as an excuse for my own lack of drive and performance”.

He still chose to leave and set up his own business, but did so with a different mindset. Instead of thinking the grass might be greener, he realised the greeness of the grass was created by him.

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