I had a great conversation this past week with an Emerging Leader who is really starting to come in her own. She is an extraordinary young executive who is growing by leaps and bounds, and she has been thinking a lot lately about challenges. We had a good talk about some of her observations over the last six months. She has noticed that life brings people a lot of changes at work. She has also noticed that some of her colleagues are not rising to the challenges as changes come along. She shared with me some lessons that she’s learned over the last year, and I thought it might be nice to extend her ripple effect here and let others learn from this gifted young leader. I hope you enjoy her wisdom…
It’s Easy To Lead When the Sun is Shining
My protégé has noticed that leading is fun and easy when you’re ahead of your numbers and the hiring plan is complete, everyone has been onboarded, and is now producing. It’s an entirely different thing to lead when the skies are dark and stormy, where wind and rain are pummeling the team. Change and adversity are regular occasions for most business leaders. My young apprentice has noted that some people don’t handle adversity well. When the pressure is on, they lock up or tighten up. They sometimes collapse under the pressure of challenge and adversity. She said, “I’ve figured out that I have to be forward-thinking, and I have to be proactive to see challenges, problems, and adversity heading my way before they get here. If I wait until they arrive, then, it’s often too late to be proactive and I am less resilient, less prepared, and less productive in handling the adversity.” This is obviously a young lady who understands the importance of handling challenges and adversity like a professional….
You Have To Focus On What’s Most Important
“You have to focus on what’s most important to your team in a crisis, Michael. I’ve realized that if I try to focus on doing everything when the pressure is on, I don’t get much of anything done. If I try to focus both myself and my team on the 2-3 most important objectives when the situation is tense, then we tend to get those 2-3 objectives handled and resolved. Focusing on too many things leads to disorder and confusion, bordering on chaos. In those scenarios, we rarely get anything done.” Ahhh, the power of focus. Nice to see another leader has found that a remaining crisp focus enables clarity. Another Emerging Leader has learned that getting the right 3 things is almost always more impactful than accomplishing a grab bag of unimportant tasks. It looks like wisdom is gathering….
When The Pressure’s On, Persevere Through Determination & Action
She’s noticed that there is no substitute for remaining calm and cool-headed. When others freak-out, she stays serene. She thinks about what is important and then determines what she can DO that will improve her situation (and the situation of her larger team). Plan ahead, to work the plan and work the problem. She never gives in, she never gives up, she never lets her teammates give up. She is steadfast and she reminds herself and everyone around her, that most problems are resolved with a good plan and tremendous follow-through. Many a problem has outlasted those who had a brilliant plan, but could not, or would not, follow through and act on the plan all the way to the finish line. It’s follow up that makes much of the difference between the highest performers and everyone else.
Refuse To Lose: Turn Negativity Into Positivity
Our Emerging Leader said this: “Several days a week, someone will come to visit your desk and bring their defeatism and negativity with them so that they can rain all over your parade. Are you going to let them slow you down? Are you going to let them suck the energy out of you? Are you going to let them remove the wind from your sails? No, no, no. Use the power of positive psychology to quickly reframe a negative outlook into a positive one. Redirect your colleagues from their negative assumptions to a more open-minded outlook. Refocus your team from how hard the sacrifices are to how close they are to an extraordinary victory. I value a person who can help me to describe or define a problem, I really do. But a person who can do that, and can also inspire me to solve that problem in a rush of innovation and creativity, now that’s someone I want to have on my team.”
I suspect by now, you’re getting the picture. This is an extraordinary talent who is in a great position to have a wonderful future. She will become a leader that will leave an indelible mark on the people she works with throughout her life and her career. She will soon be outgrowing her current role and looking for something with a bigger challenge. She is already through transitioning from Rock Star to Super Star and beginning to take on the attributes of a Shooting Star. There’s no telling how far her light will shine, but it’s obviously going to be shining very brightly. I hope you found her observations as inspiring as I did.
Talk to An Experienced Coach
Michael is an award-winning Executive Development Coach and a Business Advisor to C-Suite Executives, Leadership Teams and their high potential Emerging Leaders. Michael is building a team of great coaches who can help you invest now in the future of leadership for your business. Identify 3 or 4 high potential members of your team, and begin investing in their leadership capabilities now. A few years down the road, when you need a new generation of leaders to take your organization to a whole new level, your Emerging Leaders will be ready…. If you’d like to talk about the endless opportunities that result from investing in your leaders, contact Michael Beach Coaching and Consulting for a free consultation.