Embracing and Overcoming Challenges

Embracing and overcoming challenges is one of the most talked about and difficult areas of leadership development facing our clients. It involves continuous self-evaluation and acceptance of the fact that leadership is a constant refining process. We are required to look intently in the mirror and have the flaws in our character revealed to us. … Continue reading “Embracing and Overcoming Challenges”

Embracing and overcoming challenges is one of the most talked about and difficult areas of leadership development facing our clients. It involves continuous self-evaluation and acceptance of the fact that leadership is a constant refining process. We are required to look intently in the mirror and have the flaws in our character revealed to us. Only then do we gain power over our circumstances.

Here is an overview of the steps to take that will help you embracing your challenges:

  • Realize 90% of your circumstances were created by YOU.

This may be a hard pill to swallow. We live in a nation where it is always somebody else’s fault. However, it has often been quoted, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

This is a very critical point to remember. You are not as much of a victim of your circumstances as you may think. Oftentimes, we live our lives in a more reactive position instead of a proactive one. This feeds the notion that we are somehow not responsible for our current position.

The first step to leadership is to take responsibility for where you currently find yourself. You created your current situation, and can make the choice to proactively change it to fit the leadership lifestyle you envision for yourself.

  • Realize 90% of the outcome of your situation depends upon YOU as well!

It is critical to remember that although you may find your personal and/or professional life to be a long way from where you would like them to be, you are the captain of your life. You are capable of creating the outcome you desire.

It’s never too late to become proactive in your role as the creator of your life. A proven way to accomplish this is to take a moment to think about and picture what you would like your life to look like. If you could create your future any way you wanted, what would this include?

With a clear vision of you picture perfect future, you have a destination with which to travel. Creating the road map to achieving this is all that remains. Before beginning to plot your course, you should to qualify your journey. Clearly define the “why” in the reason you created your picture. Your “why” determines if our goal has roots to grow into the success that you hope for.

  • Make Reality Your Best Friend and your Power will follow.

The “why” of your imagined future will determine the depth of your commitment to this goal. It will serve as the validation for what you seek to accomplish. Think of reality as the undeniable denominator in whatever task you undertake. Reality actually can serve as your best friend for many reasons.

  • Reality will never lie to you.
  • Reality will give you the straight facts.
  • Reality will always give you opportunity to change it.

This is a critical step in embracing and overcoming the challenges you face along the path towards reaching destination. Examine your whys and plot your course!

  • Avoid the tendency to put your head in the sand when confronted with challenging situations.

As you step out to embrace reality and the challenges that you face, you may begin to long for those days you put your head in the sand and hoped difficult situations would disappear on their own. This single thought will prove to be a barrier to your success you if allow it to happen.

This is NOT how life works and is not what you want for yourself. You don’t have to solve every challenge today. Make a list, and methodically handle the challenges. Start with the ones that if not dealt with, could prove to be a hindrance to reaching your goals.

Usually, the situations that we are hiding from have caused us pain or similar discomfort in the past. However, the energy that is being used to continually cover over these items could be used to embrace your challenges and create your goals.

  • Clean up the unpleasant situations immediately

As unbelievable as it may seem, YOU are the biggest obstacle to your success against your challenges.

Now that you are aware of the goals that you want to reach and the “why” in which you have chosen them, it’s time to clean up situations that hinder achieving success. If a situation needs to be handled, handle it now. Don’t give it opportunity to return or become bigger.

Life is in desperate need of leaders, leaders that make a difference for the right reasons and by doing so, benefit others along the way. This is the mission life has requested of us. Make it your determination to be a leader that fulfills

Leadership Challenges Reveal What Kind of Leader We Are

As a leader how do you handle the major challenges that you face day in and day out?

The typical challenges we face are relatively predictable…

1. There are financial challenges. Meeting the company targets, selling enough business, managing costs etc.

2. There are people challenges… finding and retaining talent, dealing with personnel issues, training and investment in staff.

3. There are operational challenges… technology, product innovation, process refinements etc.

Some leaders will allow issues to fester… hoping they will go away. Of course we know they never will. I call this the “head in the sand” management method or the “hope and a prayer” management method.

Some will read the latest book and magically it has all the answers… although rarely is it as simple as it seems when reading the book. I call this the “Book Learning” management style.

Some leaders will understand the problem but really have no good idea what to do about it. One of their approaches will be to push their people to work harder… but doing “more” of the same things just tends to make the problem worse. I call this the “Beat the Staff” management method.

There are others who always seem to get a new idea and are always trying the latest thing. I call this “Management by Theory“.

I think we have all seen various incarnations of these management styles, sometimes from the same person!

Great leaders will get input from their teams to truly understand the problems.

They will be willing to try new ideas, but they won’t necessarily “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. This may mean piloting ideas; it might mean iterative change rather than mass change.

They will embrace change because only through change do we get better.

They will worry… but they will ACT to fix their problems, NOT hope those problems will go away.

Great leaders view their problems as challenges to overcome and not millstones around their neck. They will find a way to solve their challenges and will feel good about their success.

They know that working smart is better than just working hard… but working hard AND smart will win the prize!

They are decisive but not impulsive.

They are collaborative but willing to take the lead.

They will recognise risk, mitigate it as much as possible but know they need to act!

We all want to be great leaders, but great leaders never stop learning and never stop growing… so great today is not good enough! You need to STILL be great tomorrow!