7 Power Tips for Facing Turbulence

Turbulence grabs attention, focuses energy, stretches relationships, tests resolve, and shows you who you are.

Leadership tips during turbulence.


Turbulence is useful when it:

  1. Strengthens connections. People who trust each other pull together during tough times; people who don’t, pull apart.
  2. Disrupts stagnant patterns.
  3. Challenges old ways of thinking and invites creativity and innovation.
  4. Drives self-reflection, rather than blame and irresponsibility.
  5. Motivates outward focus. Turning inward without turning outward is organizational suicide. Don’t hunker down and ride it out.
  6. Purifies mission. Is it time to get back to basics?
  7. Provides an enemy. Defeating enemies energizes armies.

7 sources of turbulence:

  1. Unforeseen opportunities.
  2. Team turnover.
  3. Surprising failure.
  4. Unforeseen challenges.
  5. Economic downturns.
  6. New competitors.
  7. Organizational infighting.


Growth frames leadership’s attitude and approach to everything.

Turbulence provides growth points for leaders and organizations by disrupting:

  1. Dependence on processes and procedures.
  2. Assumptions about the future.
  3. Traditional sources of confidence.

The way you do things becomes the way you die, if you don’t adapt as you go.

7 power tips for facing turbulence:

  1. Acknowledge reality. If times are tough, say so.
  2. Answer fear by pressing into the future.
  3. Integrate new people and strengthen existing relationships.
  4. Watch for teammates who rise up under pressure. Engage and encourage them.
  5. Develop new rituals. Stop into the offices of key people on Monday morning for brief conversations, for example.
  6. Don’t create policies that deal with exceptions.
  7. Do what matters most. Busy work matters less when opportunities are slipping through your fingers.

Bonus: Don’t dabble. Dabblers drown in turbulence.

Most important, press forward during turbulence. Leaders who hunker down and turn inward miss growth points that turbulence provides.

What are some benefits or dangers of turbulence?

How can leaders face turbulence successfully?