In the journey of life and leadership, there are moments when the road takes an unexpected and painful turn. It’s these moments of adversity that truly test our mettle, challenging our beliefs, and pushing us to our limits. In complete transparency, the past few weeks have been some of the toughest for me. I found myself feeling violated and betrayed by a relationship and a leader I deeply believed in. You see, I have a tendency to see the best in people. Sometimes, I even want more for my people than they want for themselves.
One thing I’ve come to realize about myself is that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. What I always am, without exception, is “all in.” I over-deliver, and sometimes, that level of commitment can be misunderstood.
So, how do you lead when something rocks you to your core? How do you navigate those moments when doubt creeps in, and you question your own abilities? To be honest, there were a few sleepless nights when I felt like a horrible coach. But here’s the thing: for me, it’s never just about the contracts; it’s about the friendships and the deep connections we build along the way.
Here are a few tips on how to lead strong when life stings a bit:
1. Embrace Vulnerability
Leadership doesn’t require you to be invulnerable. In fact, showing vulnerability can make you more relatable and human. It’s okay to acknowledge when you’re hurting or uncertain. It’s a powerful reminder to your team that it’s okay for them to feel the same way at times.
2. Lean on Your Support Network
You don’t have to go through tough times alone. Reach out to your trusted friends, mentors, or fellow leaders. Share your thoughts and feelings, and allow their wisdom and support to guide you through the storm.
3. Reflect and Learn
Adversity often carries valuable lessons. Take some time to reflect on what you’ve experienced. What can you learn from this challenging situation? How can you grow as a leader and as a person?
4. Remember Your Why
In moments of doubt, reconnect with your “why.” Why did you choose this path of leadership and coaching? What is the higher purpose that drives you? Remembering your purpose can rekindle your passion and determination.
5. Practice Self-Compassion
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Understand that setbacks and painful moments are part of the human experience. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you extend to others.
6. Stay True to Your Values
Difficult times can test your principles, but it’s essential to stay true to your values. Integrity and authenticity are the cornerstones of effective leadership. Hold fast to these values, even when it’s challenging. This is the one that I have had to learn to be great at. I have failed hard on this in the past.
7. Keep Moving Forward
Lastly, remember that tough times are temporary. Keep moving forward, one step at a time. Every challenge you overcome strengthens your resilience and adds depth to your leadership.
Leading strong isn’t about avoiding adversity; it’s about how you navigate it. Even when it hurts, you have the power to emerge from the storm as a stronger and more compassionate leader. It’s in these moments of darkness that the brightest leaders shine.