How Transformational Leaders Manage a Really, Really Bad Day

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Henna Inam (a CEO Coach) for The Glass Hammer, an online community designed for women executives in financial services, law and business. “Visit us daily to discover issues that matter, share experiences, and plan networking, your career and your life.”

To read the complete article, check out a wealth of other free resources, and sign up for a free weekly newsletter, please click here.

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The stock market is a roller coaster. You find out you’re not going to hit the numbers for the quarter. More people you know are out of jobs. Congress can’t seem to agree on what they want for breakfast, let alone decide how to run the country. The global markets are in chaos. Your boss just gave you another impossible deadline. Plus, your kid’s on the other line asking where you are. You’re a half hour late to pick them up from soccer practice. We know this is not your life, but perhaps a friend you know? What to do?

Here are [two of] five leadership practices that transformational leaders do to manage in chaos.

Five Leadership Practices

1. Take a deep breath. And since we’re over-achievers, let’s take three. Taking deep breaths allows the emotional center in our brains to calm down while enabling the rational center to take over.

Our runaway emotions, once they take over, have the ability to create a downward spiral. It goes something like this. The stock market just fell. Now I may not be able to retire until I’m 100, that is, if my company still wants me around. If we keep missing our numbers I’m out of a job, and then I’ll be out on the street. I’ll have no money to feed my family and I’ll lose all my friends. Does this sound familiar?

Taking that deep breath allows us to calm ourselves so we regain perspective. Anxiety turns off the creativity in our brains and actually shuts off the very ability we need to come up with solutions to challenges we are facing

2. Reframe. This is a key leadership practice in times of crisis. Even under relatively “normal” circumstances, our brains, unmanaged, create crisis situations. That is where we come in to assert our power of choice. We always have the choice to redirect our thinking. Here’s what that looks like. “Ok, so the stock market just fell. My portfolio took a hit. But here’s the good news. I’ve still got a job. We’ve got a gap on the numbers but last quarter I was able to close the gap.” When all else fails, remind yourself that your dog still loves you! You can channel your inner cheer leader by asking yourself the following questions:

What’s working well?
What is within my control? What’s outside?
What are the strengths that I bring to the challenge that is in front of me?

Reframing is a key leadership practice in learning how to be resilient when faced with failure. Yes, resilience can be learned. You can see how resilient you are and practice resilience techniques here. Look for resiliency in action.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

Henna Inam is a CEO Coach focused helping women become transformational leaders. A Wharton MBA, and former C-Suite executive with Novartis and P&G, her passion is to engage, empower, and energize women leaders to transform themselves and their businesses. Sign up for her blog by clicking here.





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