There are five things you can do to lead your team through challenge.
“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.” Washington Irving
I had a major setback that occurred about 3 weeks ago. I’m optimistically planning on running the Chicago marathon for the 3rd consecutive year and this was to be week 4 of official training. I had been logging some decent miles, but now it’s time to get serious and get to the grind.
I have two amazing dogs that I run with Moose and Belle. They are German Shorthaired Pointers and if you know the breed you know they are highly energetic dogs. These two are no exception. From the moment we wake up they demand attention just like a toddler. GSP’s are also very smart dogs. They know work clothes from running clothes. The minute they see the running shoes they get the zoomies.
It is hilarious to watch
But you know that saying it’s all fun until someone gets hurt. Bam! Moose zoomied right into my kneecap.
We still hit the pavement for 6 miles that day and with all certainty that made it worse. The knee is down and out and now the thing he wanted to do most we can’t do. Three weeks later its still not healed enough to put training miles on it.
Which road to take?
Decision time! There are two possible roads to take. Quit. Many would say this race is going to get canceled due to COVID anyway and now you can’t even train. You have an out. In fact, you have two outs. Or modify and adjust the plan to stick to this goal.
Many times, in business and life things aren’t going to go exactly as planned. In my experience, I’ve seen too many quit on a goal or a project because some of the initial milestones did not go as planned. This major mistake of giving up instead of retooling is what is getting in their way of unleashing their true potential. It’s why so many leaders plateau instead of rising to new levels of success. Anything worth doing is worth the struggle. Average is easy. It doesn’t take much effort to be an average leader. Greatness? Greatness doesn’t come easy. If it did, we would all be great. Greatness comes by pushing through adversity, rising through challenges, being true to your purpose and overcoming any and all obstacles that come your way.
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” Nelson Mandela
“Don’t let the negatives of life control you. Rise above them. Use them as your steppingstones to go higher than you ever dreamed possible.” Mary Kay Ash
Here are some things that will lead your team through challenge
Clearly define the goal. Your team needs to really, really, really know what the goal is. How well they understand the goal will set the foundation for how they maneuver through challenges. If they don’t really understand what the end goal is challenges can get your team going in the wrong direction or bring the project to a halt.
Constant messaging. Be relentless in your communication. Repetition is the mother of learning.
No bad ideas. As a leader it is not your job to have all the answers. It is your job to ask questions and create an environment where your employees are comfortable sharing all their ideas. When they feel like they are contributing to the great cause they find meaning in the work and get shit done.
Meaningful work. There is a well-known story about a cleaner at NASA who, when asked by JFK what his job was, responded “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” This story is often used to show how even the simplest job is meaningful with the right mindset and a great leader. Purpose and meaning will determine how hard an employee will work through a challenging assignment.
Know your why. “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear almost any ‘how’.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Put these 5 steps in your leadership toolbox and you will lead your team through challenge with ease and grace.
Make it a great week!