Solution Saturday: Dealing with a Takeover

Dear Leadership Freak,

I started a group for professional men.

While I was away from the group recovering from surgery, two members took over the group. I’m not sure how to handle such a brazen take over. I’m just now getting healthy enough to do something about it, but I’m not sure how to handle this situation.



who do you aspire to be with your current situation in mind

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your email. Here are some suggestions.

#1. Ask yourself who you want to be with this situation in mind. Use this negative situation to bring out your best, not your worst. Sadly, we are often at our worst when we should be at our best.

The first question of leadership concerns being, not doing.

#2. Describe the perfect outcome to this situation. Aim for a clear target.

#3. Define behaviors that move you toward your preferred outcome?

Focus on things within your control.

#4. Define behaviors you want to avoid.

#5. Assume the best, not the worst. What if the takeover was motivated by helpfulness? You make yourself look bad when you assume the worst.

#6. Assume you are still the leader. Send an email to the group, thanking the people who “took over.” Publicly thank them, at the first meeting you are able to lead. Then assume the role you had before your surgery.

#7. Determine how you want people to feel. What behaviors are most likely to illicit those feelings?

#8. Reflect on your journey. What does this situation tell you about you?

#9. What behaviors will make you proud when looking back on this situation?

#10. Transitions in leadership are inevitable. Are the people who stepped in better at leading the meetings? Then, perhaps they should continue. What if your gift is starting things, not necessarily running them?

You have my best,


What suggestions do you have for Anonymous?

*Some facts have been changed in the content that Anonymous sent.