Find Strength Through What’s Working

find strength through what's workingWhen you are struggling with difficult challenges or falling short of your goals, it’s easy to get down on yourself. This type of mindset can increase frustration, sap energy and destroy your confidence. But remember, we all fail and fall short at times, so cut yourself some slack and then think about all the things you are doing right and all that’s going well. In most cases, that list will be much longer than the “what’s not working” list. You’re also probably doing better than you give yourself credit for, so pick yourself off the mat and never give up and never give in.

Every leader occasionally feels utterly overwhelmed. But if you focus on the stress and strain of it all, anxiety, fear, worry and other debilitating feelings will likely affect your performance for the worse. Also, sometimes focusing on what’s flopped or is faltering can render you immobile — another stifling, counterproductive consequence. Whatever the negative reaction or attitude is, people around you pick up on it, too. That impacts the morale of your people and permeates the culture with pessimism. It’s infectious and potentially toxic to your team. To stop and prevent such contagion:

Develop a What’s Working mindset. This is about choosing to be positive on a personal level. When you’re having a bad day, it’s even taking five minutes to reflect about or write out a list of what’s good or going well for you and noticing how that list is much longer than the list of what’s hard or hurting in your life. Notice the scales really do tip in your favor, recognize the balance that’s within your job, and embrace the newfound hope. Let this be the catalyst for creating solutions or necessary change.

Develop a What’s Working culture. Model positive behaviors and perspectives, and teach your team to do the same by zoning in on the right moves, the right ways and the right attitudes. In meetings where you discuss lessons learned, dwell less on the pain or the wrong of situations and emphasize what went right either intentionally or not intentionally. Even in the face of pitfalls, find ways to recognize people’s wins, inspiring and rewarding what’s positive and productive. Always be candid about what’s going on and the challenges that must be addressed, but find that “flip side of things” and talk about what’s worked, is currently working, and can yet be done to direct your staff members’ thoughts, efforts and energy toward a fruitful, fulfilling direction.

What sorts of ways do you creatively acknowledge “what’s working” for your staff?


​ The Disciplined Leader

What do the best leaders have in common? The answer is one word: Discipline. A disciplined leader is one who identifies and focuses on the Vital Few: the 20% of activities that will drive 80% of the results. Learn More

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