Excellence University Blog

WATER Tip: Overcoming Barriers

by Dr. Brian Higley

December 26th, 2010

The ability to overcome a variety of barriers blocking Execution Excellence can be extremely helpful when SMART Goals are not being achieved regularly.  This can be done by “flipping” barriers into objectives that can be achieved as part of the overall mission.

For example, one barrier to the achievement of the SMART Goal “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM” might be: “I hate taking out the trash.”  This barrier can be “flipped” into the objective: “Increase enjoyment in relation to goals I do not initially look forward to achieving,” supported by a SMART Goal like “Ask my favorite person to come with me when I take out the trash every Tuesday at 8AM,” or “Listen to enjoyable music while taking out the trash.”  The ability to quickly flip barriers into objectives that support a mission is a critical skill associated with Execution Excellence.  On the other hand, inability to do so is one of the most powerful contributors to the Execution Crisis.  For an article outlining some of the most common categories of barriers to Execution Excellence, click here.

  • NOTE TO THOSE USING THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM A common indicator of expertise in relation to Overcoming Barriers are fewer instances of feeling as though objectives or SMART Goals are impossible to achieve on deadline.  For instance, if one exhibits the ability to Overcome Barriers in relation to the SMART Goal “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM,” there is less energy wasted on wondering if it can be done and more focus on how to address possible barriers to doing so.  Your system indicates strong abilities to Overcome Barriers via high (scores of 80 and above) Personal “Go-Active %” scores on your Progress/People subtab.  This subtab is located to the right of the Progress/Items subtab on the upper left-hand side of the main Progress Tab (Personal Go-Active % scores are located on the far right-hand side of the screen, and are displayed as bar graphs).
  • FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT ON THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM: Click here to for more information and click here to sign up.

FINAL NOTE: If you were linked to this article by a video or email, please return to that link and proceed with any other instructions that you deem helpful.

Article Filed under: 1. WATER Game Scorecard Tips

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brandon  |  August 5th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Although you may set SMART goals that work towards a clear vision, things don’t always go as planned. One technique that I use to ensure my ability to deal with unexpected problems is to set the deadline for a task a few days prior to the actual deadline. Doing this usually provides sufficient time to deal with any unforeseen situations that may arise. Also, if you are sure you do not have the time or resources to independently overcome a barrier ask for help; however, this should only be done after many attempts to overcome the barrier independently in order to not sacrifice self-monitoring, the importance of which is discussed in the following article:(http://www.excellenceuniversity.net/journal/408/execution-tip-think-about-the-impact-of-self-monitoring-on-execution-excellence).
    Letting team members know when you are struggling is a great way to build the team’s relationship and also ensures the accomplishment of the team’s goals. To metaphorically explain this strategy, a team is only as strong as its weakest link but if the other links know when one is about to break they can take away some of the tension to ensure the chain stays intact.

  • 2. Lindsey E  |  October 11th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Overcoming barriers is an invaluable skill that cannot be overstated. From figuring out how to actually take out the trash to finishing a last minute problem for a big presentation, learning to flip the issue into an objective makes a big difference. Instead of feeling as though you are stuck, flipping the problem into an objective shows you that there are many other routes you can take to overcome the barrier. It’s not an insurmountable issue, just a barrier with many work-arounds. While it would be nice to have things go according to plan, life doesn’t work that way. The faster you can learn to tackle these barriers and work them into your overall plan, the quicker you’ll plow through them, and the more successful you will be. As many may think, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. It’s all about perspective!

  • 3. William W Braxton  |  February 23rd, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Overcoming barriers relates to your locus of control, a topic that will be covered in the cognitive portion of this class.There is also an article about locus of control found on page 179 of the reader.Undoubtedly, life will hit you with a few curveballs on the way to success If you keep an internal locus of control and believe you have the power to overcome you will have a much greater chance of success than if you adopt an external locus of control and believe your failure must have been pre ordained the first time you meet an obstacle.

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