Storms

Leadership: Weathering the Storm

The U.S. has been experiencing some storms of epic proportions. Rain, snow, wind, hail, and tornadoes have whipped the country for weeks and months. Property damage in the millions and, sadly, lives have been lost.

Storms

Storms

For anyone in a leadership position, you too will see storms happening from time to time. While waiting on the weather to change is something we all must do, there are leadership storms that require a different response.

First let’s look at the the nature of the storms that hit us as leaders. Just like temperatures and other atmospheric conditions drive the weather outside, there are factors that create storms in our professional lives.

1. Market Conditions – The work you do is impacted by changes in the markets. I use the term “markets” in the broadest sense. For this discussion, think of markets as the target population or audience you are serving. If you sell a product or service, you have a target customer base; those who might buy and use your work. Attitudes in your market may change over time. Your target base may be persuaded to go another route by someone else’s newest offering.

When this happens, you experience a kind of storm. When the market begins a significant shift away from you, you have a storm brewing that may be there a while. The economics of your situation drive the storm.

2. Your Tribe –  Turmoil within your own tribe can cause storms. If fractures begin to split the team apart, you have to act quickly to resolve the issue(s). Find the root cause and deal with it.

Festering, boiling division within a work team can cause tremendous stress for everyone involved. As the leader, you have to handle the matter. Find the reason and bring the key team members together who may be driving the rift.

3. Personal Upheaval –  You’re human. Life gets tough. As a leader, you have to find ways to balance what is going on inside YOU with what is going on around you. The best leaders know the difference.

Personal issues stay separated from team issues. It’s not easy, but that is why you are where you are.

4. The Change Around You –  The world around you has its own way of moving ahead with or without you. As things change, be ready to embrace the change. Reluctance to change causes storms for those who object, dig their heels in, and fight change.

Be open to change. Better still is to be the catalyst for the change. Drive it yourself. Don’t wait for others.

Your Response

When these storms hit, and they will, you have to be a first responder. Your organization is looking to you as their leader for direction. Regardless of how severe the impact of the storm may be, you have to dig deeper than those around you. You have to find resilience and resolve to be able to make decisions, and steer the team through the change in circumstance.

This strength may seem like it is super-human. In reality, it can be nothing more than a focus; a keen sense of purpose. Stay centered on what you know to be true, what you have come to believe is right, and rally around those core values to find the way through the storm.

Being in the midst of a storm is never time to change ships. You have to ride out the turbulence. If damage is found, yo have to make repairs immediately. Again, you must center on the core principles that drive your leadership.

If you are still in a tenuous position as a newer leader of the team, reach out to your support network for extra help, guidance, and support.

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About the Author Doug Thorpe

Hi, I am Doug Thorpe. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business coach.

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