Frustrations can come in many forms from inside or triggered by the outside. For example, not being true to who you are and forcing yourself to be the leader you “ought to be”. We can also be frustrated by colleagues who aren’t making the progress we feel they should.

Q: What am I resisting in my leadership?

Q: What frustrates me in (my) leadership?

Q: How can this energy be put to better use?

Q: How might I stop seeing frustrations and start seeing opportunities?

Tom’s Reflections on These Questions

Frustrations are very personal. My experience of them is that they are a manifestation of how I am rejecting the world. How I want the world to be somehow different.

As a leader, this means wanting those we work with to be somehow more productive, timely, curious, responsive or whatever attribute we hold dear.

Frustrations are also a gift in that they are telling us where we are too certain of the world, where we are perhaps taking it too seriously. The question then is “What am I not seeing that others are seeing?

I have certainly had a series of situations where I felt a project called for a higher level of energy and urgency and the team members clearly felt differently. This allowed to reflect on all aspects of my leadership including:

  • What is truly frustrating me?
  • What are my expectations of the team?
  • What are my expectations of myself?
  • Is the urgency truly warranted? Am I trying to get this done too quickly?
  • Am I communicating properly?
  • How might we work differently?
  • What ground rules might we agree?

I would simply suggest that frustrations are wonderful opportunities to get insights into how we see the world. That awareness opens the door to myriad possibilities.

Programme Overview

The Curious Leaders programme is designed to foster a deep sense of curiosity about who you are as a person and as a leader. It challenges you to reflect on what you can do each day to become a more effective leader. The premise is that before we can truly lead others, we first need to lead ourselves.

It thus ultimately starts with self-leadership. This is about building a practice of reflection and action whereby we become increasingly curious about how our thinking is impacting our actions. This is the first step in building a world in which curiosity shapes leadership.

In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. In truth, nurturing curiosity in leadership is essential if we are to address the key challenges of the 21st century.

How Might Tom Help?

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