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Good Leaders: How do you stay even keel?

When the winds of change create unplanned resistance to your dreams, how do you stay even keel?

Leadership is about many things, including resilience. It’s important for good leaders to show up in ways that are consistently positive…so they can radiate goodness. But what happens when important things don’t go the way we planned?

Grieving, disappointment, and letting go

Within the past week, we’ve had amazing highs around here: a lot of new clients, projects, and investments that are beginning to shape our future. And we’ve had some tough decisions that tested our positivity. We said “goodbye” to a client who needs to go their own way without us. It was our decision to part ways, and it’s the right thing for both of us. But we’re still grieving the loss of the friendships, and our own separation from their mission. Grieving is good, because we care.

Another client postponed some exciting/innovative work until 2019. It’s totally OK, but we’re also mourning the loss of the thrill we were anticipating this summer. Disappointment is good, because we care.

Another client chose to bypass our recommendation and boldly launch into something we don’t think they are prepared to handle. It stings, because we believe our recommendation is the best path for people we really care about. But we are letting go, it’s good because we care.

Where is the goodness in this?

Good leaders can find the goodness in every situation – whether things go as planned or not.

I may sound like a broken record…but here’s how I stay even keel. It starts by asking the question:  “Where is the goodness in this?” It’s not the same as smiling our way through darkness. It’s not the same as pulling ourselves up by the boot straps. Finding the goodness is an intellectually honest exercise to find our sense of excellence, generosity, fairness, and positivity.

You might try it sometime: it may help you stay even keel when things don’t go your way.

Good leaders know how to find the goodness in every situation, whether things go as planned or not. And they learn to be intellectually honest in ways that keep them even keel.

Please share with me: How do you stay even keel?


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