– Lou Holtz
Someone else said that adversity test your leadership effectiveness. When I was in the military I can recall many times when I found myself in tough situations.
One time in particular I can recall was when our convoy was surrounded by a hostile mob in Kosovo. These insurgents wanted our heads and we were under orders not to fire back, no matter what.
Situations like this require you to remain calm, think fast and not to over react. My soldiers that were in the Humvee were scared and ready to fire their weapons. And to be truthful, I was very scared as well. Imagine a 20 year old leading a few 18 year old males and a 23 year old female. Most likely a recipe for disaster in a situation like this. A few things helped my soldiers and I out of this situation. Some tips that will help any leader handle the storms of leadership.
#1 Pay Attention to Your Training
The military did a great job in training us to handle difficult situations. No training can fully prepare you for every thing you will face as a leader, but training gives you ideas and options to pull from in times of toughness. I know most trainings and trainers are boring, but focus to pull out the necessary tools that will help you. I never imagined I would need the training I was receiving, do to the fact I was not an infantry soldier, but I'm glad I paid attention.
#2 Seek Out Counsel
When the insurgents surrounded our vehicle, I knew immediately I was in over my head. I made contact with headquarters to seek wisdom. When you are leading, have mentors you can call to seek out wisdom from. Seek out other leaders that have experience and results with success in leading. The Training Operations Control Center (TOCC) was filled with leaders that helped to keep me and everyone else calm. They were able to tell me exactly what to say and do in this situation.
#3 Look Calm and Confident
My soldiers were looking toward me for confidence. On the inside I was terrified, but I knew for their sake, I had to remain calm. As a leader realize those that are following you look to you for guidance, assurance and knowledge. Because I was able to get the right wisdom from the TOCC, I was able to convey our next moves with confidence, which made everyone in the Humvee confident in spite of our fears.
You may not be leading in an actual war zone, although you may feel like that sometimes, implement these tips to strengthen your results as you lead.
Dr. Will Moreland
Author, Genius Potential
America's #1 Leadership Life Trainer