Common personalities that derail leadership

A few of us might have employed a coach to get stuff finished. What we uncover in being coached over time, is that we have to conquer loads of disempowering tales now we have about ourselves, our leadership, or the forces that are out to cease us.

That is the context we deliver to all conditions. Over time we’ve educated ourselves to function with a wholesome context in sure areas, like brushing our enamel for instance. Whereas in others, comparable to hitting our 8-figure income goal, we might wrestle to beat the inner gremlins who inform us it’s not attainable.

The excellent news? Nobody is immune.


The interior wrestle is actual in relation to undertaking something new. After I coach high-performing, C-level executives and start-up founders, I see these unhelpful contexts present up in all places as 4 widespread “saboteurs.” These shadowy figures are what we name survival mechanisms in teaching. They exist to guard us from one thing we concern. Sadly, that may embody the factor we need to accomplish.

When leaders bask in poor habits, comparable to screaming to make themselves heard or shutting others down, it’s often not their intention. Poor habits is essentially unconscious. It occurs after we really feel we’re below risk—out of cash, out of time, or out of choices. Our saboteurs take the wheel, and we begin making messes we have to clear up later. On the very least, we sluggish ourselves down on our targets.

Discover if any of those saboteurs present up for you.

Speedy Rabbit

This one comes out when leaders get spooked into consistently placing out fires. At any time when our sense of urgency over-corrects into transferring quicker than everybody else (always), belief will undergo. Speedy Rabbit is over-caffeinated, judgmental of everybody not transferring quick sufficient, and can insist they’re crushing it whereas they’re pitting out of their swimsuit jacket.

Recreation Face

This one wears both a perma-grin masks or is totally devoid of emotional vulnerability. Once we work for leaders who by no means take away their Recreation Face, there’s a lack of belief. The chief additionally suffers as a result of they’re too proud or overwhelmed to obtain assist from others. They’re defending themselves from absolutely proudly owning their emotions.

The Phantom Pest

This one is confronted by their very own energy. That is the CEO who swoops right down to critique the PowerPoint fonts, whereas they might be creating greater partnerships. As an alternative of stepping boldly into the unknown, the place they’ll discover the subsequent innovation, or absolutely mobilize their staff, The Phantom Pest stays hidden within the particulars, whereas driving everybody up the partitions.


Darkish Star

This one is the anti-matter of staff gamers. They’ll’t work out why everybody retains quitting, or why their tradition looks like one thing is lacking. CEOs or founders who present up just like the Darkish Star, are defending themselves from the complexities of main others. They could say issues like, “I’m holding area for everybody” whereas the remainder of us see them as fully inaccessible, or aloof.

The best way to outwit every certainly one of these saboteurs

Outwitting these saboteurs to make new, large issues occur takes follow. The nice information is that should you’re prepared to indicate up just a little otherwise and embrace some discomfort, there are easy practices to maneuver past these characters.

Speedy Rabbit must calm down. A easy, each day mindfulness or meditation behavior helps us see issues as they’re, versus operating ourselves ragged attempting to manage all the pieces.

Recreation Face can follow proudly owning and sharing their emotions. Being trustworthy in regards to the ideas, emotions, and even physique sensations we deliver into a gathering is a begin.

The Phantom Pest is a good candidate for teaching as a result of they want the follow of proudly owning their energy. Surrounding themselves with leaders they’ll belief and empower—whereas not swooping in to micromanage—is essential.

Darkish Star must follow leadership as small-to-large acts of service. It may be an enormous accountability however doesn’t must be a burden. Surrendering into service reconnects them to everybody and all the pieces their work touches. Even the reframe works wonders.

Leaders are busy folks. We are likely to desire issues that approach. There’s nothing unsuitable with being busy. Nonetheless, we must be conscious when our busy-ness will get in the best way of what we have to accomplish. Staying busy can turn into a simple place to cover.

The precise work we uncover is two-fold. There may be after all all of the work in “doing the factor.” Extra importantly in my expertise, are the practices that transfer you round your saboteurs.

Kristoffer Carter is an writer, speaker, and govt coach. He’s the founding father of This Epic Life, a web site dedicated to acutely aware leadership that has a each day meditation follow for hundreds. His new ebook, Permission to Glow: A Spiritual Guide to Epic Leadership releases October 2021.