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7 Things Great Leaders Do To Handle Setbacks and Criticism

7 Things Great Leaders Do To Handle Setbacks and Criticism

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.

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 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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