11 August 2021

The true measure is not just success, but also overcoming difficult circumstances

It’s quite impossible to imagine a company that hasn’t gone through rough patches, even and especially those successful ones. Big or small, every business will encounter challenges at one point. As a Business Coach, most of the entrepreneurs I talk to share with me that it sometimes seems as though they spend more time coming up with solutions and repairing damage than thinking about how to grow their business.

Problem solving can be intimidating for entrepreneurs because most of the time, they don’t have enough experience and wisdom to know what to do under difficult circumstances. The only way to really get better at solving a certain problem is when you’ve experienced it. However, there are also certain behaviours and leadership skills that can help you get the right mindset and solve problems more effectively.

Maintain your composure

The best business leaders don’t give into panic, even during those times when it seems perfectly normal to panic. Of course, you can always feel anxious or worried, but you also need to make sure that the pressure doesn’t affect you on an emotional level and cripple your judgment. Maintaining composure is crucial especially when building a good team. Your team will look to you to set the example and be their guiding light during dark times. When you’re calm, they’ll tend to remain calm as well, no matter how challenging the situation is.

Keep an eye on the big picture

Being a great leader means you always need to always envision things on a bigger perspective, running everything through the filter of how it will help attain the business whys. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the small things that come up each day and not thinking beyond the current crisis. Ignoring the grand scheme can cause you to settle with easy fixes which, eventually, may not really solve the primary issue. The most important thing is to look at problems from a wider perspective so you won’t forget what matters most when coming up with solutions.

Whatever happens, don’t point fingers

When a predicament first emerges, people sometimes tend to play the blame game. This would only waste hours trying to identify the person responsible, which could have otherwise been spent working with your team to come up with a solution. There’s nothing to be gained from blaming people other than lowering your team’s morale. Instead, go into ‘problem-solving mode’ as soon as the problem is clearly identified. No one likes a leader who throws team members under the bus.

Data is your best weapon during a crisis

One of the common tendencies of leaders when faced with a difficult situation is relying too much on instinct and convention rather than leveraging data. Technology has provided the business world so many means to get a more educated view of how things work, and it can be extremely helpful during instances when you need to come up with an objective decision. It’s easier to elect an alternative to go with when it’s backed by data. Numbers don’t lie.

Don’t be the leader that likes to quit

Dwelling on the negative will only bring down morale, especially when you’re the captain of the ship. Instead, be the type of leader who views problems as “opportunities” and focus on the positive aspects of working through the issue. There’s always a silver lining. And remember, you don’t have to work through problems alone. If you see it as an opportunity to open the lines of communication and make your team a part of the solution, you’ll likely discover that your entire business benefits as a result of teamwork and solidarity.

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