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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 May 20, 2019

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

Time.

When you think of this construct, where do you see your time being spent?

As William Shakespeare famously wrote “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me…”

Have you used your time wisely? Are you where you want to be?

Or do you have unfinished goals to attain… places you want to be, things you still need to do?

The hard truth is, that time once passed cannot be replaced–which is why it is common to hear people say that one should not squander time doing nothing, or delay certain decisions for later. More often than not, the biggest blocker from reaching our goals is often inaction – which is essentially doing nothing, rather than doing something. 

There are many reasons why we may not do something. Most often it boils down to adequate time. We may feel we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never quite the right time to pursue our goals.

Maybe next month, or maybe next year…

And, before you know it, the time has passed and you’re still no where near achieving those goals you dream about. This inaction often leads to strong regret once we look at the situation through hindsight. So, take some time now to reflect on any goal(s) you may have in mind, or hidden at the back of your mind; and, think about how you can truly start working on them now, and not later.

So, how do you start?

Figure Out Your Purpose (Your Main Goal)


The first important step is to figure out your purpose, or your main goal.

What is it that you’re after in life? And, are there any barriers preventing you from reaching your goal? These are good questions to ask when it comes to figuring out how (and for what purpose) you are spending your time.

Your purpose will guide you, and it will ensure your time spent is within the bounds of what you actually want to accomplish.

A good amount of research has been done on how we as humans develop and embrace long-term and highly meaningful goals in our lives. So much so, that having a purpose has connections to reduced stroke, and heart attack. It turns out, our desire to accomplish goals actually has an evolutionary connection–especially goals with a greater purpose to them. This is because a greater purpose often helps both the individual, and our species as a whole, survive.

Knowing why it is you’re doing something is important; and, when you do, it will be easier to budget your time and effort into pursuing after those milestones or tasks that will lead to the accomplishment of your main goal.

Assess Your Current Time Spent

Next comes the actual time usage. Once you know what your main goal is, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have now. It’s good to know how you’re currently spending your time, so that you can start making improvements and easily assess what can stay and what can go in your day to day routine.

For just one day, ideally on a day when you’d like to be more productive, I encourage you to record a time journal, down to the quarter hour if you can manage. You may be quite surprised at how little things—such as checking social media, answering emails that could wait, or idling at the water cooler or office pantry —can add up to a lot of wasted time.

To get you started, I recommend you check out this quick self assessment to assess your current productivity: Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

Tricks to Tackle Distractions

Once you’ve assessed how you’re currently spending your time, I hope you won’t be in for too big of a shock when you see just how big of an impact distractions and time wasters are in your life.

Every time your mind wanders from your work, it takes an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get into focus again. That’s almost half an hour of precious time every time you entertain a distraction!

Which is why it’s important to learn how to focus, and tackle distractions effectively. Here’s how to do it:

1. Set Time Aside for Focusing

One way to stay focused is to set focused sessions for yourself. During a focused session, you should let people know that you won’t be responding unless it’s a real emergency.

Set your messaging apps and shared calendars as “busy” to reduce interruptions. Think of these sessions as one on one time with yourself so that you can truly focus on what’s important, without external distractions coming your way.

2. Beware of Emails

Emails may sound harmless, but they can come into our inbox continuously throughout the day, and it’s tempting to respond to them as we receive them. Especially if you’re one to check your notifications frequently.

Instead of checking them every time a new notification sounds, set a specific time to deal with your emails at one go. This will no doubt increase your productivity as you’re dealing with emails one after the other, rather than interrupting your focus on another project each time an email comes in.

Besides switching off your email notifications so as not to get distracted, you could also install a Chrome extension called Block Site that helps to stop Gmail notifications coming through at specific times, making it easier for you to manage these subtle daily distractions.

3. Let Technology Help

As much as we are getting increasingly distracted because of technology, we can’t deny it’s many advantages. So instead of feeling controlled by technology, why not make use of disabling options that the devices offer?

Turn off email alerts, app notifications, or set your phone to go straight to voicemail and even create auto-responses to incoming text messages. There are also apps like Forrest that help to increase your productivity by rewarding you each time you focus well, which encourages you to ignore your phone.

4. Schedule Time to Get Distracted

Just as important as scheduling focus time, is scheduling break times. Balance is always key, so when you start scheduling focused sessions, you should also intentionally pen down some break time slots for your mind to relax.

This is because the brain isn’t created to sustain long periods of focus and concentration. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. After this time, your likelihood of distractions get stronger and you’ll become less motivated.

So while taking a mental break might seem unproductive, in the long run it makes your brain work more efficiently, and you’ll end up getting more work done overall.

Time is in Your Hands

At the end of the day, we all have a certain amount of time to go all out to pursue our heart’s desires. Whatever your goals are, the time you have now, is in your hands to make them come true.

You simply need to start somewhere, instead of allowing inaction waste your time away, leaving you with regret later on. With a main goal or purpose in mind, you can be on the right track to attaining your desired outcomes.

Being aware of how you spend your time and learning how to tackle common distractions can help boost you forward in completing what’s necessary to reach your most desired goals.

So what are you waiting for? 

Featured photo credit: Aron Visuals via unsplash.com

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