3 Ways to Navigate Tough Times

The things that matter most, matter most during tough times.

3 ways to Navigate tough times:

#1: Prepare before tough times arrive.

It’s too late to prepare for rough seas when the seas are already rough. The important practices of leadership are necessary when skies are blue.

Important things like relationship building don’t feel important until you need a relationship.

  1. Schedule relationship building.
    • Networking lunches.
    • Thank you notes.
    • Catch-up phone calls.
    • Send follow-up emails.
  2. Stand with others when they experience tough times. (In order to do this, keep in touch with key people.)
  3. Get to know people as people, not simply tools for delivering results.

If you’re currently in tough times:

#2: Nurture clear-headed thinking.

Search for points of ‘acceptable clarity’ when times are tough.

Go with your highest – imperfect – point of clarity when you’re in a fog.

  1. Adopt practices to mitigate stress. Anxiety hinders thinking. Stress makes you stupid.
  2. Realize acceptable levels of stress sharpen your focus.
  3. Connect with leaders who have navigated similar environments.
  4. Let your team know that you’re counting on them. Turbulence isn’t the time for leaders to wring their hands in fear.
  5. Seek insight from others. Don’t pretend you know when you don’t.
  6. Talk solutions more than problems.
  7. Jump into situations with enthusiasm. Reluctance seldom serves leaders well.
  8. Schedule brief quiet times. Go for short walks.
  9. Exercise and eat well.
  10. Get enough sleep.

The least glamorous practices of leadership are the more important practices.

Preparation is boring until high winds hit.

#3: Reconnect with purpose and build the airplane in the air.

You need a compass to show direction when times are turbulent. But you’ll need to build the airplane while you’re in the air.

Commit to serve the best interest of your team and your organization. Self-serving leaders make tough times tougher.

What suggestions do you have for thriving in tough times?