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7 Things Great Leaders Do To Handle Setbacks and Criticism

7 Things Great Leaders Do To Handle Setbacks and Criticism
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Have you put your everything into a dream just to face setbacks? Here are seven key elements that great leaders of today utilize hit with setbacks.

1.Great leaders just let it go.

Ford’s CEO,  Allen Mulally, expected to be chosen for the job of CEO at Microsoft, as Microsoft’s stocks fell so did the hopes of him being selected. This wasn’t the first time for Mulally, as the former president of Boeing his wildly successful track record made him the most likely candidate for CEO. After all, he was the one who had pulled the company through the financial crisis following the 9/11 attacks in which the Boeing 757 and 767 had been high-jacked. When Boeing passed him up for the job what was it that kept him together in the face of harsh rejection?

Mulally decided stubbornly that he would not let others define his success. He recovered quickly from the initial disappointment and when asked about how he handled the professional setback he remarked:

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“A bad attitude simply erases everyone else’s memory of the incredible progress achieved.”

2.Great leaders see value in honesty and integrity.

Joel Peterson, chairman of JetBlue Airways tells the story of how he had gone into a deal with a major investor and overlooked a clause that would have left his company in a fix had it gone through. The investor caught the mistake in time and pointed it out to Joel although it was in his favor not to. Because of this act of integrity the setback proved to strengthen the trust in their relationship and resulted in many successful future financial dealings.

Joel says, “Our level of mutual trust became so great that he’d wire money before the papers were complete. Later, I had a chance to sort through some troubled assets for him to ensure that he recovered his investment capital. I didn’t need to, but I never forgot how he’d saved me as a young entrepreneur. Building genuine trust is a long-run investment.Anyone wanting to build a high-trust organization must start by looking in the mirror. Personal character is foundational for interpersonal trust. And organizations in which leaders have integrity stand a much better chance of building trust from the top down, and bottom up.”

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3.Great leaders use their failures to build up those around them

How did experts in motivation, sales and self improvement like Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, and Seth Godin build their current financial empires and more importantly affect the lives of millions with the gift of vision? They learned to handle setbacks, failures, and trial and error and chart a path for others to achieve success. By lifting up others and passing on the code that they had worked painstakingly to crack they grew an audience of changed lives who in turn have promoted them. Want to turn setbacks into success? Bring along others for the ride and your success will snowball.

4.Great leaders turn wounds into wisdom

Within 14 months, Coach Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts lived through the extremes of tragedy and triumph. In 2005, he lost his teenage son to suicide and only a year later was America’s most celebrated man and the first African-American coach to win the Super Bowl. His stability and pose through the extreme highs and lows of his family and career was an impressive testimony to his faith, values, and philosophy:

“It’s the journey that matters. Learning is more important than the test.” His ability to find gold in disaster and  peace in life’s storms is a part of what makes him one of the greatest coaches in the history of professional sports.

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5. Great leaders take the stairs

The tough stuff is what separates the truly great from the average. Great leaders are average people who have stuck it out longer than average. Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, decided to make his dream happen at 65 years old.

He received a social security check for $105 which infuriated him. So he decided he needed to make some money and knocked on the doors of thousands of restaurants with one chicken recipe. Wearing his white suit and sleeping in his car he knew that he had to make it work because it was all he had. After one thousand and nine people said no he finally got the one yes he was looking for.

As a young man Michael Jordan was cut from the high school basketball team. Talking about perseverance he said:

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“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

6. Great leaders don’t complain

Micheal Hyatt, author and Social Media Expert wrote, “If you can’t keep from complaining, then have the integrity to quit.”

If you feel you can do better and deserve more then prove it. True leaders will take criticism and set backs as a challenge to prove they’re better than what others see them to be. Complaining proves that you’ve succumb to a label someone else has created for you.

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7.Great leaders face the brutal truth that there will always be someone petty out to tear down what they could never achieve themselves.

Mother Teresa said, “If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.  What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.”

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/francisb123/973841589/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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