Why Do You Get Stuck?

images-2Gary Collins, in his excellent book Christian Coaching, list seven possible reasons individuals and organizations can become stuck. Here they are with a brief explanation:

Overwhelmed. This can include feeling overworked, over scrutinized, or with too little time, energy or people resources to get everything done. The results are often procrastination or uncertainty about where to begin.

Exhausted. This is self explanatory, but can result in the loss of vision, purpose and enthusiasm. A sense of team can fade. Patience can be in short supply. Conflict becomes more prevalent.

Directionless. Everyone is busy and working hard, but there is no overall vision or big picture of the future. The team has no common goals, so work is done independently and progress is limited.

Hopeless. This often happens when there is no sense of achievement or tangible results. Motivation to keep going wanes.

Surrounded by Conflict. It is hard to keeping making progress when there are significant disagreements, communication breakdowns, misunderstandings, or gossip. Dysfunction reigns.

Worthless. This takes place when team members feel unappreciated, overlooked, unrewarded, or unacknowledged. This too will stall progress and motivation.

Alone. This is the feeling of isolation. Each individual is working independently with no sense of belonging, team identity, team spirit, or camaraderie. Often the environment lacks a visionary leader to unite the team around a common purpose.

Team or individual coaching may be the answer for getting unstuck from any or all of these circumstances. What are your thoughts and how have you confronted being stuck?

(Adapted from Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential Into Reality, Gary R. Collins, Nav Press, Colorado Springs, 2009)

3 replies
  1. Joseph R. St. Fort
    Joseph R. St. Fort says:

    FIRST, Gary, consider that upward verticality is the modus operandi of stewards. It is the road less traveled. For, gravity is a never-ending challenge that requires motivation, energy, stamina, and faith. That is why our corporate pitfalls must be interpreted within our present wake-up calls as a marathon. Instant success is within the rush of a one-hundred- meter dash. When the going gets tough, one really needs to have a realistic vision – to inspire others – to influence others – to motivate others – to empower others – and, to reward others, in order to continue the journey faithfully.
    So in order for the stakeholders (investors, grassroots, consumers, community…) to remain loyal to a leader in the turbulence of a long-term organizational process, that leader must authentically walk the talk. Expressed differently, in order to inspire, influence, motivate, and get the support of others, one must match the deeds with the proclaimed values. They form the core of the vision statement. Being in conformity with them is not easy.
    Our pitfalls are recurrent because God does not give a free pass when we flunk a test. No matter how difficult or unfair it is perceived to be by us mere humans, the test is given again and again until we become discerning enough to pass it. Really, it is not easy; the gate of heaven is narrow. This explains why gliding gravity to ascend upward to heaven is exclusively the work of stewards.

    HOWEVER, sliding laterally is the M.O of Laissez-Faire Leaders. Sliding laterally to go nowhere is easy. This type of horizontal leadership to pass the buck does not require energy expenditure. It is taking it easy. It is letting people do as they please, in a misguided culture of organizational anarchy bordering on chaos. There is a big difference between enabling people to let them function as intelligent beings within the protocol, as opposed to letting people loose in order to gain their esteem. The inmates should never be allowed to run the asylum. Even birds migrating seasonally have a leader spearheading their V formation, although – because of leadership exhaustion – they have to switch leaders many times during the course of their long journey.
    Really, this type of laissez-faire leadership to shy away from responsibilities manages the leader like a jumping-jack and is fueled by many undesirable flaws in leadership exercises, among others: lack of convictions, incompetence, incompatible credentials, unfit promotion, lack of leadership values, lack of leadership skills, and excessive compliance in pleasing everybody… Really, nice guys finish last. In such anarchical environment, the leaders end up following the crowd instead of the logical reverse of the followers trailing their designated guides. It is a very dangerous organizational setting that breeds wickedness at all times from selfish manipulations.
    Sliding laterally is the M.O. of Laissez-Faire Leaders. Devoid of discernment, awareness, and the will by these leaders to solve the pertinent issues, problems proliferate and worsen. Those functioning in such environments continually keep on passing the buck in a merry-go-around motion, as a matter of survival. Craftiness and artful manipulations pervade. Organizational priorities remain unattended. Neglect takes roots and spills its pervasive nonchalance under every desk. Blaming becomes the accepted norm. The organizational image keeps surviving on cover-ups. And opportunistic wickedness, like parasitic weeds, takes over the organizational landscape. Solomon judiciously says, “I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.”

    ON THE OTHER HAND, downward verticality is the M.O of Machiavellian Leaders. It is even easier. It is the dark valley of full-blown wickedness, back-pressurized by the narrowness of the Gate of Heaven. With a sense of spiritual despair, leaders gliding that path really wish that God is truly a myth, for they keep on auto-piloting so far back in corporate traffic. It seems to be such a colossal task to move vertically upward with so many imponderables and uncertainties dangling unconvincingly within the balance of business administration.
    “Fear versus Faith” is at the core of the showdown between “Profits versus People.” The same assumptions always formulate the same questions along with the same responses. Lack of leadership faith always yields the same old millenarian questions that are grounded in fear and that have continually hindered the right answers: Do righteous values have proven merit in organizational dynamics? Can righteous values make payroll? Can righteous values replenish portfolios? Can love and business coexist under the same roof and smoke together the same calumet of peace, cooperation, and prosperity for all stakeholders?
    The proper responses are still pending for many. Thankfully Gary, from your book Christian Coaching, you have listed the seven reasons individuals and organizations can become stuck. Thanks again!


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