Vantage Blog


Shackles & Shields

Change is never easy. Change in your business. Change as a leader. One of the concepts that I have found helpful when confronting change – either in your business or for you as a leader - is to ask yourself what is holding you back? What are your shackles and what is your shield?

Shackles are things that hold you back. They may be visible or not so visible drags on achieving your potential. They could be external or internal. They could be something you hold as true or immutable without challenge. How you view the market (“we don’t have the resources to compete with the big players”) or your customers (“they would never commission us”) are examples. They restrict your ability to grow because you don’t believe you can shed the shackle.

Shields are different, but just as debilitating. It’s what we hide behind. It’s the barrier to enabling us as leaders to truly connect and achieve our potential. To be able to develop trust with our people and with our customers. It could be your personality (“I am not a people person”) or education (“I couldn’t do that job as I’m not qualified enough”). 

Are you aware of what your shackle and shields are? Maybe ask a few trusted colleagues. Or you could use a magic wand - “If you didn't have to think about the cost or how to make it happen, what would you change?”

So, what’s your shackle and shield – for you as a leader, and in your business. If you dropped the shield and cut off the shackle – no matter how hard – what opportunities to grow would it unleash for you and your organisation?

James Atkins
Vantage Strategy & Marketing

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