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Whether you feel you’ve moved to crazy town or are simply facing changes at work that seem to happen faster than ever, every manager can say there are crazy times they’ve been through and lived to talk about. But, how? When a manager or leader is in the middle of chaos it’s hard to see the exit, much less thrive through it, but the best ones stay focused in these three very specific critical areas.
They Make Motivation Happen
If every leader woke up daily, ready and willing to enthusiastically face the days trials and tribulations, there would be no need to talk so much about stress management or times we call crazy. Motivation is an inside job, but it’s not always easy to muster. Managers who lead themselves and others through the nuttiest of fast pace change and messy situations push through, challenge themselves, dig deep and keep going. They make their motivation occur on demand versus waiting for it to come back around. If motivation is the area where you struggle, try committing to working on a task or project for only 15 minutes. Getting started is the biggest hurdle. Momentum takes over once you begin and become focused. Focus like a laser for small periods of time and motivation will return along with your sense of accomplishment.
They Retain Their Mojo
Some jobs, no matter how much you liked them or once thought they were glamorous, are filled with activities that can quickly become drudgery. Those not so fun nor fulfilling activities then tend to take over and become the main focus of your daily efforts. It’s perhaps one of the fastest way to bake up a big cake of burnout! Remember what you loved to do that got you to start doing it on your own in your own business or leading others to do it when you said yes to that promotion? Make sure you get to do some of that frequently and frankly, as often as necessary. Delegate the tasks that bring you down and suck the very life blood out of your day to day efforts. You won’t be able to, nor should you, let go of all responsibility and all leaders have to reengage in once delegated tasks, when the crazy times climax, but delegate starting now so you have the energy for later. Identify what you’re doing that makes you cranky during or need a nap after and find people to take on those tasks. Your mojo needs preservation and you are the only one who can do it.
They Manage Their Mindset
They say those with the biggest bravado are also those with the lowest self-value. They, whomever the elusive they is that spouts off such things, also say that people would never say to others the kind of critical things they say to themselves. Or, at least we hope not. This is especially true of high achievers and those with high ambitions, such as your stereotypical top-level leader. When things aren’t getting done or when results aren’t happening, despite all efforts, these are the leaders who can appear to be full of confidence and calm, but are instead full of fear, criticism, and harsh words in their internal dialogue. Manage that mindset even better than you would attempt to manage or lead the performance of another. Be disciplined in focusing on what you want, versus on what you don’t have yet. Stay focused on how you want to feel versus how everyone else says you should. Be the one person in your head who is nurturing, forgiving, motivating, coaching, and encouraging your efforts. After all, no one else will ever really know the degree to which you’ve just managed to move small mountains and leap tall buildings and at the speed you’re moving you don’t have time to explain it so that they can be impressed. Be the ruler of your mindset and if that means you talk to yourself and people think you’ve lost it, it’s better than people fearing you more and more each time you angrily lose it!
Those managers and leaders one might call the best at getting through the crazy, tough, or highly stressed periods, are usually the same managers and leaders who’ve had the most experience in this area. There is profound wisdom to be learned through the experience of other leaders. There is also powerful action to be taken if you find you struggle with or rely on others to manage any of these three critical areas. Manage to get through crazy times by leading these areas successfully.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist and professional speaker. Her coaching, books, and skill based training programs are requested internationally. Monica is the CEO of www.ContagiousCompanies.com and a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. She may be reached at 1-866-382-0121. To learn more about the CORE Profile® or to complete the abbreviated, free, CORE Snapshot™, follow this link.