Advertising
Advertising

3 Things Successful Leaders Keep In Mind Even When Things Go Wrong

3 Things Successful Leaders Keep In Mind Even When Things Go Wrong

Nobody has a Midas touch. Even successful leaders and great teams have bad days. That is just the way it works. Sometimes things go wrong because of unforeseeable circumstances and sometimes things happen because someone in the team made a mistake.

Whatever the reason, the extent of the negative impact caused by such bad times is heavily influenced by how the leaders reacts to what happened. Successful leaders know that their team members places a lot of importance on what they say during testing times. They also know that team members place an even higher level of importance on how leaders say what they say – their body language, level of stress, tone of voice and other subtle cues mean a lot.

Here are three things successful leaders keep in mind during such situations:

Advertising

1. Successful leaders know they have to bring calm and confidence

When things go wrong, not everyone reacts the same. Those that lose their calm or those that panic can set a bad precedent for those that are on the edge. When issues are left unaddressed, a team can tend to focus on the negative – so much so, that the project comes to a standstill.

Successful leaders arrest the slide quickly by bringing calm and confidence to the team.

With their experience, they can make a quick impact analysis of the damage. Since they have the trust of team members with influence, they bring the group together and get their buy-in on the next immediate steps. Once the core team members are calm and confident the rest of the team follows suit.

Advertising

For more information about presenting a calm and confident manner, see this article.

2. Successful leaders know to shift the focus on what’s next

When things go wrong, spending an unreasonable amount of time on forensic analysis is time unproductively spent- the team could be focused on recovering from the problem. Every minute counts. Good leaders know that if they let things get out of hand, they will turn the issue into a bigger crisis as projects that depended on the current problematic project being completed start to slip.

Successful leaders know that the right thing to do is to focus on what to do next, using whatever resources are available at their disposal.

Advertising

Analysis needs to be done in parallel with this action, or postponed to a time after the current project is back on track.

3. Successful leaders bring their learning from these experiences to future projects

Failures, crises, mishaps and other such events, teach a lot of lessons. Leaders know that it’s easy to blame someone or something else and move on. That would be a colossal waste, of course. Successful leaders reflect on what happened, what lessons are to be learned from what happened and how not to repeat the same mistakes next time around.

Even when things went wrong due to things outside of their control, they think about how to factor in such risks and account for them in their planning for future projects.

Advertising

Bonus Item:

4. Successful leaders remember to refine their assumptions next time around

One of the major below-the-surface reasons for things going wrong is the presence of faulty assumptions to start with. Either the leader or an influential team member made one or more assumptions that didn’t turn out the way they wished.

When things go wrong, successful leaders go back to the drawing board and think about what assumptions were made and why they turned out to be faulty. Revisiting the assumptions will help them to refine their judgments when they are working on future projects.

Remember:

A rising tide lifts every boat. When things are going well, even mediocre leaders can come across as rock stars.  When things go wrong, every leader gets tested and the successful leaders stand out from the pack based on how they react and get their teams back on track.

Featured photo credit: Steve Wilson via flickr.com

More by this author

3 Things Successful Leaders Keep In Mind Even When Things Go Wrong 7 Reasons Why People Who Don’t Take Life Seriously Are Happier 9 Thoughts Successful People Refuse To Believe Small Things Wonderful People Do That Build Deep Relationships

Trending in Leadership

1 How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears 2 14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have 3 Become a Better Manager: 20 Leadership Examples to Inspire Your Team 4 What Top Leaders Get About the Importance of Diversity in the Workplace 5 10 Qualities of a Leader (Advanced Version for Leaders Who Aim High)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

Advertising

Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

Advertising

And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

Advertising

For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

Advertising

If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next