All of us in a leadership position get to carry the brunt of the problems and challenges we face every day. We sometimes cause these problems. And in other cases, we must clean up the mess made by someone else.
In most cases, we serve as the “buffer” between the problems and our teams. Then once we have confronted the problem we have to sift through the emotion and clutter that comes with it to determine what caused it and more importantly how to solve it—while still doing everything else you’re supposed to do!
Working through and managing bad days comes with the territory if you are a leader. But, when the number of those bad days starts to take place on an ever increasing basis and the severity intensifies, you’re then experiencing days that “you don’t want to go to work.”
However, as a good leader you pick yourself up and go to work on those days you really don’t want to be there. You fool yourself into thinking that “it’s what you have to do” but, you’re not having any fun
When you reach this state, it’s time to come to a complete stop and put yourself in time out! You need to give yourself some time to catch your breath and think about what you’re doing versus what you “should” be doing. Why? Because if you don’t stop the madness, you’ll “burn out physically and emotionally, and run yourself and your business into the ground—permanently.
With the possibility of the demise of your business staring you in the face, you should consider taking all of these key steps:
- You need to have a clear direction of where you want to go. In other words, you need to have “clarity” about your vision. With this clarity, you not only have a direction, you have a purpose. With direction and purpose, you are better able to decide what you need to do and when, and fight off distractions.
- You then need to put together a weekly plan—not just a “to do” list. Many over-worked leaders mistakenly think that managing their list is their salvation. Wrong! Managing your priorities and knowing what you’re “not” going to do is the goal.
- Next, sharpen your delegation skills and start sharing the work that you’re doing with those on your team who have the skills and knowledge to perform the tasks correctly
- Then spend some time with your team to make sure that they understand their roles, what’s required, why they do what they do, where it fits in and how they contribute to the company’s results. When your team understands the “why” of what they do, they have a purpose, which will positively impact their motivation, engagement and performance.
- Once a week schedule a one-hour appointment with yourself – that’s right, just with you – no e-mails, phone calls or distractions. During this “self-meeting” review your weekly plan and progress; make adjustments if needed and then spend some time on a task that only you can and should handle. Preferably, something that falls into the category of working “on” your business.
All of these steps are key parts of the plan you need to get you back in control – you know, to become a master of your circumstances as opposed to being a victim – unless you like not having fun. The choice is yours.
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