How to Make it Better by Not Making it Worse

When failure is imminent, it doesn’t matter why it happened. Just shut-up and fix it.

Unskilled leaders expand problems.

Unfocused leaders make matters worse by doing too much.

red emergency light

What you don’t do, is the key to success when you’re under pressure.


Never ask, “How can we prevent this from happening again,” when failure’s at the door.

When you’re about to fail, forget long-term solutions. Focus on succeeding now.

Fix current issues – address causes later.

Don’t multiply distress by addressing systemic issues at the same time you’re solving urgent problems.

While solving pressing problems, don’t:

  1. Panic.
  2. Deny.
  3. Ignore.
  4. Blame.
  5. Pretend.
  6. Lie.
  7. Isolate.
  8. Close down.
  9. Over-generalize.
  10. Ask the wrong questions.
  11. Think more about problems than solutions.
  12. Teach lessons like, the reason this happened is…

Bonus: While solving pressing problems, solutions come before convenience or feelings.

Thanks to Facebook fans for their input on this list.

7 ways to succeed while under pressure:

  1. Identify the smallest problem that requires a solution.
  2. Focus maximum energy on the simplest short-term solution.
  3. Never expand problems; shrink them.
  4. Clarify what you don’t need.
  5. Keep everyone focused on current issues.
  6. Lower drama by speaking calmly but acting aggressively.
  7. Take charge, but stay open. An emergency isn’t the time for team meetings.

When failure is imminent, solve essential issues as quickly as possible. Let everything else go.

When problems are pressing and failure seems imminent ________.