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Five Personal Changes for 2019

Jan 3, 2019 | Blog

A New year, a new you. A time of promises of self-renewal. A time for soul-searching !


Before you finalise your New Year resolutions, we thought it would be useful to give you food for thought by sharing five common barriers to success that we encounter with our clients.

  • At senior levels, performance counts for only 10% of success (Source – Empowering Yourself, The Organizational Game Revealed). Image/personal brand is 30%. Exposure – ensuring the right people know us inside and outside the company – is reckoned to be 60% of success. Too often our clients are not paying enough attention to image or exposure.
  • Distraction – Too many executives we meet spend too much time working on the wrong things. I recently asked a client how much time they spent on the biggest priorities of their leadership. Then we analysed their diary to find the truth. Perception and reality were stunningly different. Seventy per cent of their time was spent on distractions and matters that could have been delegated to direct reports. Avoiding distraction; making the right use of your time is game changing.
  • The Imposter Syndrome. 70% of executives have this in different doses. Essentially, it is insecurity, lack of confidence or not thinking you are good enough to take the next step up. “The others are better than me. I’m going to get found it.” It often helps clients to know that two thirds of people in the room are probably feeling the same !!! There are plenty strategies to deal with this.
  • People pleasing. Trying to please everyone is remarkably common among some executives. “The biggest problem with the people pleaser trap is that you are compromising your integrity because you are not acting in line with what you are feeling and thinking; you are destined to be unfulfilled, frustrated and resentful” (Source – The Coach’s Casebook.)
  • The Ostrich Syndrome describes an extreme lack of self-awareness. The opposite of Imposter Syndrome. Leaders with blind spots of unconscious incompetence. Due to violent politeness, colleagues rarely level with an ostrich. I can immediately think of former colleagues who clearly thought they were great speakers or good listeners or change agents…. when everything they did suggested otherwise. Self-discovery is the start of every coaching relationship but is the Rubicon for the corporate ostrich.

Which of these are barriers to success for you?


For a New Year resolution pick one and start to work on it.  This could be the first step to a new you in 2019.


Atholl Duncan is the Founder of The Edge Coaching which works with senior executives to maximise their potential.


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