Don’t Be a Jerk. Make a Decision.

“Why don’t they do something about this? Everyone knows it is a problem. Why do they stick their heads in the sand?”

“Because that is what they do.”   —  Two frustrated employees.

One of the most important attributes great leaders develop is the ability to confidently make decisions and move forward. Thinking before doing is always, of course, the right thing to do. However, thinking without ever doing leads nowhere. Don’t get stuck in an endless thinking loop without transitioning to action: “Ready, aim…aim…aim…” will get you shot and frustrate everyone on your team.

What about when adversity strikes?  How can you move forward even through the toughest adversity you can imagine?

A few months ago I was at a meeting of highly successful leaders and the topic of adversity was discussed. Within that group, people had faced cancer, suicide, divorce, loss of children, drug abuse, loss of spouse, significant health issues, loss of jobs, bankruptcy, and other major areas of disappointments. Each person had faced a major crisis.

Remarkably, every single person agreed that overcoming personal or professional adversity was a critical turning point in their success. Think about that. Adversity turned them toward success. Regardless of how the adversity arrived, those successful people took action, faced, attacked, and conquered the adversity that struck them. Adversity polished them up to become more successful.

When confronted with adversity, you can choose to see the positive alternatives and become even better than you were before—or you can choose to sit and dwell on your circumstances for the rest of your life. Spending your energy complaining, justifying, and blaming others for the problem changes nothing and will drain the energy needed to begin working your way through your adversity.

One of the greatest dangers while facing adversity is to panic, freeze, and stop moving forward because you perceive the situation as insurmountable. Regardless of how bleak the situation appears, there are alternatives that will help you move forward if you choose to see them. Make a decision to keep moving.

If you want to achieve extraordinary results with class, read and apply The First Two Rules of Leadership: Don’t be Stupid. Don’t Be a Jerk.  It will help improve morale, decrease turnover, increase everyone’s job satisfaction, and you will have a whole lot more fun leading.

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