In Change, Leaders

“To be successful, you must accept all challenges that come your way.  You can’t just accept the ones you like.” – Mike Gafka

These days I hear a lot of leaders saying something that sounds like, “Boy, I sure wish we didn’t have to deal with this,” or “Boy, I’m sure sick of dealing with this,” or something like that.  I can appreciate and empathize with that feeling.  And I usually respond by saying something that sounds like “Tough.  Deal with it.”

The reality is that lots of people say they want to be leaders, or aspire to leadership positions, but then when they’re faced with a challenging situation, one that really demands that they lead, they don’t want any part of it.  They liked the idea of being in charge, the prestige, the money, whatever – they didn’t consider the fact that they’d actually have to, you know, lead.

Some of the problem is that even leaders with great intentions have a tendency to freeze in chaotic situations.  It’s just human nature.  If you’re stuck, think about trying one or more of these:

  1. Create a growth plan. Think about how you boost sales.  What have you learned over the past few months and how do your products/services need to evolve?
  2. Implement a contact program for customers. Throughout all this uncertainty people want to know that you’re thinking about them & how you can help.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just remind them you care.
  3. Focus on people. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve learned a lot about your people over the past few months.  Who are your real leaders?  Who could be your leaders down the road?  Who needs some correction?  Come up with a plan to develop your most important people. (shameless marketing – maybe it looks like this)

Challenging, chaotic, uncertain times require strong leaders.  As we continue to navigate the bizarre new world we’re in, leadership is going to be more important than ever.  Don’t abdicate your responsibility as a leader.  You’ve reached a point where what you do is extremely critical – now it’s time to shine.


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