Every leader, whether their title is boss, manager, supervisor, or coach, has a lot going on. And even the most skilled leaders sometimes find they’ve gone off the rails—sometimes in small ways, sometimes disastrously. It’s important to have a plan for what to do when things start to fall apart. Here’s what I tell the leaders I coach about getting back on track:
Acknowledge what’s happening. Don’t ignore the issues or try to pretend things are normal. The longer you wait to address the situation, the harder it will be to set things right.
Talk to your leadership coach. These are the moments when a good relationship with a leadership coach really pays off, and a good place to start is by talking it over with them. You can vent and complain in confidence, then get to work identifying the problem and working out a plan. And once the issue is resolved, you can discuss its origins and what you can do differently to keep it from happening again.
Create a schedule of changes and stick to it. Often getting back on track and staying there is just a matter of making a few changes to your daily routine. Create a manageable schedule of changes to your day (and your team’s, if necessary). And then make sure you follow it.
Team up with an accountability partner. Everyone in leadership needs an accountability partner. Your partner should be someone you trust—someone who won’t just tell you you’re doing great but will hold you to your words and call you out when you’re going off course. Set up regular meetings and, most importantly, listen.
Focus on what works. Many leaders lose their motivation when they aren’t feeling successful—and once motivation is lost, it can be hard to regain. The solution I recommend is to focus on what’s actually working. Even if it’s only a few small areas, look for ways to build and expand on your successes. Similarly, shift your attention from what you don’t have to what is available to you.
Create an environment that fosters success. The people and environment around us have a huge influence on our thinking and behavior. if you’re serious about wanting to get back on track, surround yourself and your team with ideas that inspire you, listen to things that motivate you and keep your own messages supportive. Plan your surroundings to trigger optimism and success.
Especially with serious problems, getting back on track isn’t a simple or quick process. It may be hard to build little changes and small healthy habits—at times it may feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back. Just remind yourself that you’re heading in the right direction and you’ll get there in time.
Lead from within: The best leaders know we don’t judge them by how many times they have gone off track; we admire them for getting back on.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.