Tough and challenging times will surely come. That is a given. The question
is what kind of leadership we will demonstrate during those time. Those who
are weak leaders will see lasting damage done, if not see the organization
fall apart completely. With Extraordinary Leaders at the helm, however, an
organization can actually become stronger and thrive in spite of the tough
and challenging times. That should be our goal so here are some idea on how
to be an Extraordinary Leader in tough and challenging times!
1. Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture.
When things get tough, everybody's
temptation is to become acutely focused on the problem. The Extraordinary
Leader, however, will keep his or her eye on the big picture. This doesn't
mean that we don't address the problem. In fact, we have to address the
problem. But what separates a leader from a follower is that the leader
doesn't get caught up in the problem. The leader sees the big picture and
keeps moving toward the vision. The further they take their followers toward
the vision, the further away from the problem they get.
2. Don't Get Caught in the War or the Friendly Fire.
When it gets tough even
the most loyal team members can be tempted to start shooting and,
unfortunately, they sometimes shoot each other! Rather than focusing on the
enemy on the outside, they begin to question each other and find many faults
with one another that they normally would not have seen. The Extraordinary
Leader is the one who can keep from being drug into the fray. They keep
their eye on the big picture and act rationally and objectively. They
understand that people are heated and are saying things they don't really
mean. The people are firing because they are angry or scared. The
Extraordinary Leader understands this and rises above it. This way, they
take fewer arrows and they set the example for their followers.
3. Be First to Sacrifice.
When it gets tough, like when there has to be cuts
in salaries etc, the leader should do just that - lead. They need to not
only be the one who is rewarded the greatest when all is well, but they need
to be the first to sacrifice. The Extraordinary leader says, "I know many of
you are concerned with the salary cuts. I am too. In the long run we will be
healthy again but for the mean time, this is necessary. Understanding this,
I want you to know that I am taking a 20% pay reduction myself. I want you
to know that we are in this together." The Extraordinary Leader is the first
to sacrifice and will be rewarded with the loyalty of his or her followers.
4. Remain Calm.
Panic is one of the basest of human emotions and no one is
immune to it. The Extraordinary Leader, however, takes time out regularly to
think the issues through so they can remain calm. They remind themselves
that all is not lost and there will be another day. They remind themselves
that being calm will enable them to make the best decisions - for themselves
and for their followers. Panic only leads to disaster, while calm leads to
In tough and challenging times, people are naturally down. They
tend to be pessimistic. They can't see how it is all going to work out.
Thus, they have a hard time getting going. The Extraordinary Leader knows
this and will focus in on being the optimistic motivator. He or she will
come to the office knowing that for the time being, the mood of the group
will be carried and buoyed by them and their attitude. Above all else, they
seek to show how the end result will be good - and with this they motivate
their followers to continue on, braving the current storms, and on to their
6. Create Small Wins.
One of the ways to motivate is to create small wins.
The Extraordinary Leader knows that in tough times his or her people think
that all is lost. They wonder if they can win. So the Extraordinary Leader
creates opportunities for the team to win, even if they are small. They set
smaller, more achievable goals and remind and reward the team members when
they hit those goals. With each small win, the leader is building the esteem
and attitude of his followers, digging them out of their self-created hole
7. Keep a Sense of Humor.
Look, hardly anything in life can't be laughed at.
The Extraordinary Leader knows that even if the whole company goes down the
drain, we still go home to our families and live a life of love with them.
The Extraordinary Leader keeps perspective and knows that we humans act
irrationally when we get scared and fail, and sometimes that is humorous.
Don't ever laugh at someone's expense in this situation, because that will
be perceived at cold and heartless, regardless of what you meant by it, but
do keep the ability to laugh at yourself and the situations that present
themselves. By doing this you will keep yourself and your team in an
attitude that will eventually beat the tough times.
About The Author:
Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of
Made for Success, a company helping individuals and organizations turn
their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and
achieve their dreams.
To see Chris "live" at the upcoming Jim Rohn Weekend Event as he speaks on
the subject of Secrets of Influence go to
http://Chris-Widener.InspiresYOU.com/ or call 800-929-0434.