Leading When Everything Goes Wrong


Leading when everything goes wrong can be hard. Last week, we had a system upgrade that went very badly. It impacted my team and our members and created stress for everyone. It required me to work through multiple issues over days. The root cause was completely outside of my or my team's control. Not being in control is something I don't do well.

As I was working with the upgrade team and my team to troubleshoot and test issues, I was hyper-intentional about how my reaction would impact both teams. I worked hard to remain calm, look for solutions and refocus on objectives in spite of overwhelming opposition or setbacks. I know I wasn't successful at doing this all the time, but I was working at it, and I think that's better than not even being aware, or just letting stress and emotion take over.

Here's my take on being successful in such a challenging situation, it is important for leaders to have the following qualities:

  • Confidence: Leaders facing difficult situations must remain composed and confident in their decision-making process, even if the situation is not ideal. By demonstrating self-assurance and maintaining a level head, they can reduce anxiety in their team and project an aura of control.
  • Empathy: Leaders must be able to empathize with the situation their employees are in. By understanding the emotional toll such difficult times can take, they can provide support and encouragement that will help motivate employees toward success.

  • Adaptability: Being able to quickly adjust to changing circumstances and come up with creative solutions is essential to leading when everything goes wrong. Leaders must be able to think on their feet and remain flexible in order to succeed.

  • Resilience: It can be hard for leaders to stay positive in challenging times, but resilience is key. By staying focused on the long-term goals and staying determined to succeed, leaders can help their teams to stay motivated and on track.

By having these qualities and taking a proactive approach to problem-solving, leaders will be well-equipped to overcome any setbacks they face and lead their teams to success.

By Tyler Valentine

Keywords: Change Management, Leadership, Management

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