What (or whom) do you use to rally yourself or others when times get difficult?
When situations are challenging, people rally around all types of things or people to provide them with hope and allay their fears. Some teams will join forces around a particular mission, such as a squad in the military, others may unite around a certain dollar amount, such as a sales force attempting to keep the company afloat, and still, others will come together around a revered mascot or retiring coach, such as when a team needs to win a big game.
But regardless of the rallying point, most groups need someone to lead them during hard times.
How do great leaders encourage their staff or units to do what is necessary even when the outcome is unknown?
An article in Inc. magazine (Murphy Jr. 3/10/2014), lists nine things great leaders do in difficult times to inspire their teammates:
1. Control your fear - Courage doesn't mean the absence of fear, but it does mean you can't allow your fear to spread to the other members of the team.
2. Remember that the mission comes first - You owe your team a worthy goal and your willingness to do whatever is necessary to accomplish that goal.
3. Remember the mission comes before you, too - That means you are willing to put your short-term needs aside to do what is necessary to complete the mission.
4. Rely on your preparation - Practice, preparation, and training are all things that should be continuously discussed and repeated so you can adapt and act quickly during hard times.
5. Be tough, but human - Your team needs to know you are up to the challenge, but that you also see things through the eyes of a human being.
6. Encourage your people - A leader understands that it is their responsibility to support and encourage the members of the group no matter how bleak the outlook appears.
7. Communicate effectively - The leader must effectively and efficiently let everyone know what is going on and how they can assist in making sure the goal is achieved.
8. Use your resources wisely, but use them - Identify what resources are available to help the group accomplish the mission and make sure those supplies are made available to the team.
9. Imitate the leaders who inspire you - Before things get difficult, a leader should have mentors and role models who exhibit good leadership traits and skills. When times get hard, the leader can fall back on what he or she has learned from those advisers.
Watch the video below and learn about the unique item the head of the New York City Opera used to rally her employees when the organization was going through trying financial times in the late 1970s.
Also, please leave me your thoughts on things you have used to motivate or encourage your teams during demanding times.
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Author & Motivational Speaker
Terry is a sought after speaker who believes in the power of a story to motivate, inspire, and help others lead their uncommon and extraordinary lives. By combining his ten-year cancer journey with his diverse business, athletic coaching, and hostage negotiating expertise, he delivers compelling yet relatable presentations for conferences, on-line events, panels, meetings, and seminars.