I’ve been thinking recently about difficult times – about 9/11 and the overwhelming sadness and loss we experienced, both as a country and as a family our cousin was a firefighter who gave his life that day. I think of the state of the country’s economy, and the turmoil around the world. I think of my dear sister-in-law who suffered the ravages of cancer.
Your natural inclination would be to either hunker down and hide or fight the battle alone. Do the opposite. You need a team. You need comrades to fight with you. A good leader will instinctively pull together a team in crisis. Train yourself to be this kind of leader. At times like this, be very selective in your associations – you need positive, solutions-minded people to help you. You need folks with experience outside your realm of expertise.
You need all three components. Analyze – know your enemy. Strategize – Lay out your battle plan. Energize – Carry it out. In a crisis, there is that “deer-in-the-headlights” point where we see the danger coming right at us, and then we…freeze. It is analysis paralysis, where we don’t know what to do, so we do nothing. The best leaders will cycle through these three steps quickly. Those who are not leaders will get stuck along the way. So while there is merit to analysis and planning, you also have to make a decision and move on it.
As a leader, you have to be the giver of encouragement. But the fact is, you can’t give what you don’t have. So you have to figure out the things that encourage and energize you and be sure that you take the time to recharge in difficult times.