Do you demonstrate resilient leadership? Let me ask you this: do setbacks give you an advantage?

Leaders who have become the best of the best reveal not only how their character was tested and defined by adversity, but how they use setbacks to become the most effective leaders today.

Some difficulties are devastating, of course, but they can be compounded by leadership responses to crises. There’s no real training for adversity on the leadership ladder, except experience. A leader who doesn’t effectively deal with a trial will succumb to it. The rest of the organization won’t be far behind.

Leaders can prevent this. There are specific methods that can defuse setbacks, allow subsequent crises to be more manageable, and make leaders stronger. Leaders can learn to conquer setbacks by using simple, logical steps to make their way through each difficulty.

Better yet, with the right approach, setbacks can provide advantages that would not have been possible otherwise. Leaders with these skills will weather any storm, regardless of its cause, making them the best of the best.

3 Steps to Overcome Setbacks

Ryan Holiday, in his book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumphs (Portfolio/Penguin, 2014), claims that leaders can turn the roadblock they face into a path to success. Ironically, the impediment is a gift.

When a leader is hit with a crisis, fear and anger may be triggered. A leader who remains in this state is paralyzed and derailed.

Instead, leaders can view obstacles as self-motivating challenges. They can tap into determination to turn a weakness into a strength. Leaders can view challenges as a test that can be utilized to thrive, not just during a crisis, but in spite of it.

To defeat obstacles leaders can use a three-part weapon system, according to author Holiday.

  1. A mindset or perception on how to view the situation.
  2. The motivated action plan on how to address the specific issues.
  3. An inner drive or will that keeps the mindset and action plan going.

I’ll be exploring these steps in my next few posts. In the meantime, consider any setbacks you’ve faced as a leader. How did you respond? Has it become one of your success stories? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

  • Sally

    One of the questions I always ask interview candidates is: How you use your leadership skills to turn a difficult situation around? What was the situation, what was your plan and how did you develop it?
    What was the outcome.

Leave a Comment