Hinders Your Vision? 10 Obstacles to Overcome
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
see things not as they are, but as we are.
(This quote is attributed to several sources, including the
wonder what factors limit your ability to see beyond today's
possibilities? Or what keeps your organization or practice from achieving
the results you see other groups can meet? Or what keeps YOU from
moving toward the inspired professional life you dare imagine?
my own experience I can recall many situations when I was guilty of either
thinking too small or just not thinking big enough. Here are a few of
my "duh" moments:
I first applied to medical school, I was so unsure about whether I was
"good enough" that in my application I used the "essay"
space for a one-line explanation about my MCAT scores [Personal
Obstacle: "I'm not smart enough for this"; Reality:
I was a straight-A college student with plenty of potential].
I first thought about expanding into healthcare business, I carried the
names and phone numbers for 4 key industry contacts in the pocket of my
white coat for ONE WHOLE YEAR before I had the courage to call them. [Personal
Obstacle: "Why would they pay attention to me?"
Reality: I had some great ideas and an
ability to communicate that several companies thought was pretty cool.]
I developed my first program for physician leadership development, I
researched dozens of resources on change and leadership and communication,
feeling more anxious with each one. [Personal
Obstacle: "I don't know enough to pull this
off." Reality: I had a vision
for a leadership development program that was unlike anything out there, and
would soon be producing results unlike anything out there."]
Obstacles to Overcome
is your personal obstacle to achieving your vision? One place to look
for wisdom is John C. Maxwell's Developing
the Leader Within You. Adapted from his writing on Vision,
here are Ten Obstacles between where you are now and where
you could be:
Leadership - Is there a lack of vision? Or the ability
to communicate and pass it on?
Thinking - Are you asking "Why?" more often than
"Why Not?" Are you continually examining the plan rather
than letting yourself free to imagine "What if?
Talking - Are you listening too much to strong, dogmatic
people (or the "Ya-but" voice inside you!) who probably know
of Losing - Are you letting past failure (i.e.
experimentations) inject too much fear of risk?
Sitting - Is your desire for comfort, predictability and
security making you complacent? After complacency, comes boredom!
Loving - Are the old reasons for doing it "this
way" still valid? What were the old reasons, anyway?
Taking - Are you wanting too much to be part of the
crowd? Are you waiting for a majority to embrace a vision before
you step out in front?
Seeking - Are you aborting a vision by presenting problems
with no apparent solution? Are you stalling by being a devil's
- Are you limiting an organization or team vision because you
are thinking only of yourself?
forecasting - Are you "protecting" yourself or your
organization by predicting failure and subconsciously sabotaging your
that you have some insights into your personal obstacles, I challenge you to
ditch 'em and get moving on your vision. If you need some help in
identifying your obstacles or championing your own vision, please contact me
to arrange a complimentary coaching session.
more reading on developing the leader within you, I highly recommend all of John
R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE is an executive coach and business consultant for healthcare leaders
and physicians. She is Founder and Director of Creative Strategies in Physician
Leadership and a professional speaker on healthcare leadership,
technology and change.
She can be reached at (206) 686-4205