You’re focused, dedicated, hardworking, motivated and inspirational. Your team respects the clear vision you’ve given and you lead by example. Goals are being met, growth is occurring, everyone is feeling a sense of satisfaction from their work.
And then, as is inevitable, a challenge occurs. Your largest customer leaves, your best sales person retires, a recall is necessary….
The natural reaction to a difficult or challenging situation is to dive into your strengths – increasing your focus and dedication, working harder and motivate your team. Unfortunately, relying too heavily on your go-to strengths in a time of difficulty will often backfire with painful results.
Focus and dedication turn into obsession and an inability to “turn things off” at the end of the day.
Your team loses their inspirational, visionary leader and gains a task master. Motivation begins to wane across the company and an isolated challenge becomes a threat to the stability of the company as a whole.
Your strengths, once an integral part of your success, turn into weaknesses that are often found in failing companies. As a leader it is your responsibility to maintain the even keel of your company through your actions in good times and bad. To keep your eye on the horizon, baton down the hatches to make it through the storm but knowing (and sharing that knowledge with your crew) that the storm will eventually pass.
To keep your strengths from turning into your weaknesses:
- Focus on the vision, not the problem. Acknowledge the problem and work to correct it, but do not allow the temporary issue to derail you or your team from the overall vision.
- Keep a positive attitude. Maintaining composure and a balance sense of self will help your team continue to rely upon you as their leader throughout the difficulty.
- Accept that you won’t have answer to every challenge. Reaching out for assistance, guidance, and mentorship is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- And most importantly, keep your strengths positive. Remain the focused, dedicated, hardworking, motivated and inspirational leader that you are – but keep those strengths in check so that you don’t fall into the trap of exchanging strengths for their counterpart weaknesses.
During times of challenge, instead of always reaching for your go-to strengths, try expanding your leadership skills – increase your level of compassion, further develop your communication depth with your team, and increase transparency. By reaching to new levels you will develop your skills and become a stable, consistent, well-rounded leader through good times and challenges.
Do you have other tips on how to improve your results in challenging situations? Share in the comments below – I would love to hear about your experiences.