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Focus on Barriers Instead of Skills

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

What’s stopping your team(s) from doing their best work? It’s probably not a lack of skills, or abilities, or even motivation. We have great people, after all. It’s barriers. Friction. Administrative tasks and hierarchical rules that distract and get in the way of doing the amazing work your people want to do.

Yet, we rarely solve for that. Instead, we take assessments, attend webinars, and build skills.

Leadership development is a $41 billion industry in the US alone, but it’s almost completely focused on building leadership skills. So, what happens if the people trying to help us build skills shifted their passion and effort to solve for the elements of work that can only be fixed when the masses come together and demand change?

Barriers. That’s where the real opportunity lies because barriers must be dissolved together. Unlike skills that are built by individuals for individuals, barriers block the collective. They’re complex and chaotic and organic, and removing them requires innovation, consideration, buy-in and action.

Who in your organization is breaking down barriers for your teams? They are the people that believe those closest to the barriers will generate the smartest ways to overcome them. They are the people amplifying those voices and creating paths for new ideas and safe-to-try experiments. If you have those people, support them because they accelerate progress. If you don’t have those people, find them, because they are there waiting for someone to help them start a movement.

Did you know that I recently launched a new team accelerator designed to help your teams tackle complexity and red-tape so they can deliver better products faster? If you're interested in revolutionizing the way your teams work with collaborative, hands-on missions that deliver results every week, drop us a line at We want to hear from you!

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