Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! What to Do When the Going Gets Tough.

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Its 5:00 on Friday, your staff is starting to leave the building to enjoy their weekend and a major issue hits your business that if not handled correctly, could have a material impact on your revenue and customer service. What do you do?

Are you calm, cool and collected? Or do you panic and respond with emotion similar to Chicken Little screaming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”?

I only ask because you have two options: You can either bunker down and grow from this crisis, or you can let it knock you on your behind forcing you into fight or flight mode.

  How do you survive a crisis? When challenges arise, how do you react?  

If you take a moment to think about your life, your work or your environment, I am sure some of you are going through tough times. Though times can manifest in a variety of ways, shapes and form and is not just available to your business life. Tough times can impact your personal life as well.

The secrets I am going to share with you are secrets for getting through those tough times – regardless of the situation.   I’m going to show you how to be proactive in your response that allows you to grow as a leader, a community or family member or simply as a person.

As I write this post, we are in the midst of horrible turmoil in our country. From a tumultuous election process with so much divide and mudslinging by the candidates, to the recent horrible deaths of citizens and police officers to snipers on the top of buildings causing more bloodshed.. I would say these are some pretty tough times.

No matter where you stand in your current situation, at one point or another, you will need to manage a crisis and these tips will keep you sane and keep you focus on getting to your desired outcomes.

1. Confront the Reality of Your Situation and Change your Perception: This is where you need to get a hold of the brutal facts of your reality and rather than let it suck you down into the black hole of oblivion, change the way you look at those facts to believe you will get through it – no matter what it is. Understanding the reality grounds you in the truth, without sugar coating it with optimism, but changing your perspective allows you to have faith in the outcome.

2.  Take Action – Lean in. When times get tough, our natural instincts kick in and we want to retreat, take the path of least resistance or sometimes just pull away from the problem. This is here your faith needs to take over, lean into the situation and take action. Don’t let the fear of the unknown paralyze you

3. Keep Moving . In good times, you strategy is usually clear, your teams are moving along but the moment the winds change direction, things seem to get lost. Nobody can see your vision as clear as before. The natural tendency is to stop. But stop only for a short while to regain your focus and strength, but make the call as the leader and press forward. You may have to shift your direction but keep moving.

4.Reprioritize your resources. Whether it is time, money, people or other resources, chance are in tough times, you may need to reprioritize and reallocate your resources to help you achieve what you need to achieve , even if it is temporary setback to some of your other projects.

5. Keep up your Motivation. As a leader, it is sometimes difficult to keep up your motivation especially when times get tough. You have heard the saying “it is lonely at the top”, well it gets worse in a crisis. This is the time when people need leadership. You cannot afford to set back and let fear take over. Keep your motivation strong, keep your focus forward by focusing on the “why”. Simon Sinek calls it the reason you get up every day and work on your business. It is the reason your employees follow you and it is the reason your customers buy from you. Reconnect with your “why” to keep your motivation high.

   What are some of the things you have tried in a crisis? Share in the comments below.

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