No doubt, the last few years have brought some trying times to our beloved country. We’ve seen the stock market fall and now come back, home prices deteriorated, unemployment levels increased, lending all but ceases, gas prices are through the roof, and of course we’ve got the politicians playing their normal blame games (Aren’t we paying them to lead us?) It’s safe to say if there’s ever been a time to be depressed, its come. Or, if there ever was a time to lose hope, it’s now. NOT! That would be a way to cop-out on your vision, mission, and plans Remember, those plans you made to succeed in business and life.
The great late Zig Ziglar put it well when he said, “There are seldom, if ever, any hopeless situations, but there are many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.”
If your glass is feeling half-empty as of late, here is how we recommend you lead through it::
- Get rid of the pessimism. If you are not optimistic about the future, how can you expect anyone around you to be? Whether it’s your employees, vendors, friends, or family, you’ve got to lead with true optimism. Sometimes it can be a lonely position to take, but it’s what your team wants and needs from you. At times it’s far more popular to be a pessimist, but quite frankly that isn’t leadership folks.
- Stand up for the upside. With every downturn or downside there is an upside. While it may be easier to jump on the downside bandwagon, a true leader will be an advocate for the bright side. Look up and ahead!
- Do not feed into the fear. Endorse changes that will lead to greater results.
- Focus on Opportunities and Possibilities. While most others are focusing on complaining, whining, and multiple regrets, I challenge you to look for opportunities and possibilities. They are out there. If much of your industry and competition has there heads in the sand, ride the wave to increased market share!
- Be realistic. I’m not advising you put on “rose-colored” glasses here. I’m advising you to gain an understanding of all that is taking place and be realistic in your plans to capture opportunity.
- Show courage. Do not be afraid of confronting problems or those that create them. Being optimistic in a pessimistic climate takes courage. But, you’ve got to be committed to it long term before you stick your neck out too far.
- Be energetic. In times like this, most managers hide behind their office door, hoping the problems will just go away. Newsflash! They won’t just go away. It takes an energetic leader to carry the torch. Get your rest, eat right, exercise, and lead your team with high energy. Remember the energy drinks wear off.
- Do not apologize for your half-full glass attitude. If you start apologizing for your true beliefs and determination, sooner or later morale will drop sharply.
- Reconnect the team. You’ve got a vision and a mission. Get the team focused on these and lead them like you never have before. Communicate and connect at all levels!
- Lead your team into the future. Paint the picture for them and they will follow you.
One of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar is very fitting for the current times. He simply said, “I’m so optimistic I’d go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me.”
Be that optimistic! Have a great week!