17 Ways to Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges
It’s Sunday afternoon. While others are relaxing, Monday weighs on your mind. You’re preparing to meet the problems, opportunities, issues, and challenges waiting on your desk.
Most leadership conversations involve:
- Someone needing something.
- Tensions between team mates.
- Pressure from stakeholders.
- Opportunities waiting to be seized.
- Resources that are inadequate.
Leaders work through issues others just complain about.
17 ways to face tomorrow’s challenges:
- Look for bottom up movement. Where does the team want to go? Take people where they want to go – within the confines of mission, vision, and values.
- Welcome the frustrations of others as expression of their passion. Explore don’t ignore frustration.
- Avoid solving problems for people. Leaders who solve-for spawn dependency.
- Declare your heart. Lower the harsh exterior and let everyone see you care deeply.
- Spend time with core contributors. Understand their passions. Fuel their fire.
- Eliminate hindrances and roadblocks. Make success easier.
- Give permission, authority, and support.
- Don’t talk about anything you aren’t going to do something about.
- Remember that some people need to talk. Listen and ask, “What can we do?”
- Explore and develop your plans with mentors, trusted colleagues, coaches, and advisers.
- Open your mind. You’ve formed opinions based on partial information.
- Relax. Avoid the tendency to slip into unproductive strategies like pressuring people.
- Make short-term decision that facilitate forward movement now. (Keep long-term vision in mind.)
- Smile when the next problem rises up. Turn problems into opportunities.
- Encourage key contributors. The people on your team hear problems and face pressures all the time, too.
- Invite others to compensate for your weaknesses.
- Identify wins. Celebrate when they happen.
Most importantly, bring yourself to the challenges with forward-facing optimism. You don’t have to be an exuberant cheerleader. But, you have to believe you can make things better.
Which strategies are most relevant for you as you prepare to face a new week?
How can you face Monday with forward-facing optimism?
Well I have come to understand only two things need my mental focus
1. Being happy in the now
2. Having an Epic Vision of My Future
Everything else is just a distraction
EA. focus only on what I want, not on what I do not and what seems to not be working.
Thanks Scott. …. I bet that’s working for you.
Well it is fascinating Dan!!
Think about it, if I get a magnifying glass and hold it out in the sun over a piece of paper….if I move it around 17 times, what happens???
Not much but me getting a sore arm.
If I hold it in one place, like focusing my mind, combustion happens!!
So the choices seem to be a sore arm or combustion!! Go figure!!
I am learning a new order of thinking.
What, Why, How To, When.
All fascinating and results so far have been really cool.
Just makes sense.
Dan, I was pondering Monday as I took a break to check emails…this strikes a chord in a couple areas I am seeking clarity. OAR “be Optimistic And Resilient” put your oar in the Monday morning water and pull ahead to a new hour, day, week. Your How’s enable leaders to practice not dwell! Good post to get me closer. Second one is for leaders to “show up ready but not absorbed with answers”. You are helping me chisel these thoughts to turn into actions and apply with my colleagues on Monday. Super Sunday now! Thanks!
Thanks Stephen. It’s always fun when a post catches someone right where they are. I find that I can slip into an ambiguous anxiety about Monday mornings. Better to adopt a plan or at least a guiding principle.
Here’s to a great week!
Thank you for #3. I fall down on that one all the time.
Thanks Janet. I think one of the big pressures leaders put on THEMSELVES is solving-for. We feel a pressure to make it better for people. Moving away from that can be slow and painful for everyone involved. But, I think it’s worth it.
When we stop solving-for people take ownership. It’s still important to care, support, encourage, provide resources, celebrate .. etc. In other words, stay handy even though you aren’t solving-for.
LOL … my response is unusually long to your wonderfully brief comment. (I love brevity)
Dan, you always challenge my thinking and teach me different ways to look at things. “Welcome the frustrations of others as expression of their passion. Explore don’t ignore frustration.” I really like this. Thanks
Thanks Calvin. As a person who is frequently frustrated, I’ve tried to find ways to use that energy for positive results. 🙂
By the way, I love it when young leaders/managers are angry about things. Don’t try to solve their anger. Listen to it. Then ask them what they are going to do about the source of their frustration. But, first, it’s important to listen and explore symptoms and causes of frustration.
Thanks for the good word.
#9 is something about we need to draw a plan for if not in place. Thanks Dan for such a important aspect “we”.
Thanks P. What can YOU do about it, seems too distant. Even if they are going to do most of the work… we seems better.
Have a great week.
Great article as always! Thank you so much!
Thanks Heart. Best wishes.
#2 resonates for me. I have a tendency to draw back from other’s frustration, and framing frustration as an expression of passion is very helpful. When I imagine my own frustrations being greeted with questions, that sounds full of possibility. Thanks!
Thanks rabbiadar. Love your addition of “when I imagine my own frustrations being greeted with questions….” Leadership include imagination.
Indespensible dependency, it may be security (in some odd sense) but it’s not leadership… Your #3 and #7 called that to mind.
The more miles on my personal odometer the more I like #10
Enjoy a new week!
Thanks Ken. I’m with you. It seems the more time goes by the more my ears are ready to listen and my mind is ready to explore.
Hey Dan I like #4 because I truly believe that a leader has to care about people and problems but I agree with # 3 to let others help in solving problem. If you don’t you don’t care about that person growing.
Thanks sprtnut. I find it might take some courage to get going but once you practice declaring your heart for a while, it gets easier and people trust you more.
Everyday of the week and perhaps double on Monday, the key is “forward-facing optimism!”
Since this post relates to Monday, and somewhere in the literature it is said Friday is the happiest of the week, then the question becomes how a leader makes Monday a Friday, or
how to turn Monday morning BLUES into Monday morning DO’s!
I’ve personally seen some rather forward thinking leaders hold impromptu Monday morning meetings just to shoot the bull with staff members for a half hour or so, and ask what they did
over the weekend. That interest was enough to debrief the gang and get them in work mode.
It’s like leaders “lend” their employees an ear, and the employees pay back in “interest.”
Thanks Book. You remind of something I used to say. Friday is the saddest day of the week because we have to wait all weekend to get back to work. 🙂
Reconnecting with the team on Monday makes lots of sense. Thanks for the suggestion. I like giving some time for personal connection at the beginning of most meetings. All work is dull, even if you are doing great stuff.
#8 resonated with me this Sunday evening. What a great way to teach people to listen to you – they know if you’re talking, you’re doing.
Thanks Kari. Perhaps I should mention there is an exemption to “don’t talk about it if you aren’t going to do something about it.” You might need to talk about to determine if you are going to do something about it or not. 😉
I find the doing somehting about it keeps me from spiraling around in darkness.
I think it also helps to take part of Friday afternoon to review the past week and identify the things and/or people you want to focus on in the following week. That way you may even enjoy your weekend. Good tips Dan – thanks!
Great article Dan!
You always lead the readers to think differently.
“Where does the team wants to go? ” Do they really care about that ?
I think that makes the difference between the leader & the manager. 🙂
Did you just reveal your road map for the next 17 posts? Great stuff… ever single one of them could be talked about for hours. I resonate with this one, “Declare your heart. Lower the harsh exterior and let everyone see you care deeply.”
Thanks for putting the list together.
Spot on! I love #8. I am always telling clients that unless you’re prepared to take ACTION on something, don’t waste precious productivity time discussing it at length.
If you have to “think” about taking action for a while, it was never really a priority. If you’re committed to something, you ask questions, do the research, and GO. “Maybe next year” is crap. You may have thought you were serious about taking action on something. But you weren’t.