The Real Measure Of Your Leadership


You work hard to inspire your team.  You create development plans in partnership with your team members to ensure they continue to enhance their competencies.  Sales are going well, you’re happy and your team is happy.  You recognize, celebrate and think that all is going exactly as planned.

Then it doesn’t.

That is when the real measure of your leadership comes in.

I remember a Director who I had in the past that was amazing at celebrating wins.  He was new in his role and had a way to make you feel like you knew exactly what you were doing.  That every step was a step in the right direction.  The first time that sales were extremely tough, he held a conference call.  One word described his message, Anger.  He spent the whole time talking about how bad sales were and how we must have been doing something wrong since our teams were not having any success.  I remember thinking how ironic it was at that time that just a week ago, we were THE amazing team hitting every nail on the head.

When things are going well, that is not when your team needs you the most.

“Your team needs your leadership the most when the storms are raging and the waves are highest.”  – Elita Torres

Set expectations high but your actions should inspire others to believe in the possible. 


[tweetthis]Create a Culture of Performance but not a Culture of Blame. [/tweetthis]


During those difficult times, that is when you have the chance to connect with your team.  These are the moments where you and your team have the opportunity to become more and develop to a level where they will shine.

Respond to circumstance but don’t react.


How Can You Engage Employees and Inspire during Difficult Moments?


Control Your Fear

Strong reactions can be rooted by fear.  Fear of failing or not knowing which step to take next can elicit strong emotions.  The ability to stay calm during stores comes from a position of strength.  Choose Strength.



The best way to determine how you will react during tough times is to prepare for them.  They will come.  Decide which steps you will take when they do.  Be intentional in your response.


Communicate to Inspire

Remember the end result you want to achieve.  Your goal is to determine the next steps that will be required to turn results around.  How can you Win?  You need your team behind you to win.  What is your best strategy to ensure that they are?  Keep this in mind throughout your communications.


Focus on the Core

When times are tough, we sometimes have the tendency to put in new processes and systems.  Although new processes or systems can be a real game changer, continuously changing strategies gets in the way of your success.  Stick to the Core focuses and keep sowing the seeds.


Look at the Front

Learn from what is not working but don’t focus on it.  Don’t berate your team for the failures but encourage them to use what is not working as a springboard forward to find “new” ways to win.  The right mindset will help ensure you remain an effective leader no matter what walls stand before you.


Remember the Formula for success during Difficult Times – Connect, Inspire, Motivate and Develop

Connect with key players and strategize on the next steps.

Inspire and Motivate your team to keep challenging themselves and to Keep Going by focusing on the 20% that will bring in 80% of results.

During the Toughest Times, take the opportunity to look for new ways to Develop your team.  Are there new skills that must be learned in order to adapt to the new environment?  Remember that Growth happens most when we are learning, and we can learn the most through failure.


“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”  – Nelson Mandela


Tell us your story of a leader who changed their style during difficult moments.  What have you learned about leading through tough times?