Most of us don’t like tackling hard things. We avoid them, keep putting them off, or keep hoping something will change. Many leaders would rather have a root canal than have a hard performance conversation with an employee or negotiate terms with a business partner. Sometimes the hard thing is more serious like the steep decline in key metrics for your ministry/business or facing the fact that your marriage is in trouble. Maybe the hard thing is about you: your sin, pride, or lack of leadership drive.Many leaders would rather have a root canal than have a hard performance conversation. Click To Tweet
Whatever the hard thing is in your life or work, it needs to be faced or the consequences will only get worse not better. Here are some things you can do to move you from complacency to productive action in dealing with the hard things in your life.
- Face the reality.
The first step is a reality check. Stop pretending and face the facts. Writing them down and discussing with a close friend or colleague helps to make sure your facts line up with reality. Wishing or hoping that something will change is not good leadership. Get real about your reality and begin to map out productive actions to address.
- Own the challenge.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t blame others. Own the issue. If you’re in a position to address the challenge, than it’s yours to own. Owning it will help you in the steps you need to take to address it. Weak leaders make excuses and try to kick the ball to someone else. Courageous leaders step up and own the hard thing for the good of the organization they lead. The organization is greater than any one person and greater than any one challenge. Own it.Courageous leaders step up and own the hard thing for the good of the organization they lead. Click To Tweet
- Be proactive.
Getting mad or frustrated about a hard situation doesn’t help anyone. You probably feel both strongly, but when you lead with your emotions, it will cause others to go underground to avoid your reactionary leadership. When you face the reality and own the issue, you’re then ready to productively address the challenge. You stepping up to lead the way in facing a challenge will cause others to want to join you in solving the problem.
- Call others to action.
One of the great lines to use in facing a challenge whether in marriage, with your kids, in the church, or in the workplace is to say, “I have a problem and I need your help.” In most cases, with this kind of tone and ownership, others will want to join you in helping solve the problem. Start the conversation and lead others to take positive steps to address the challenge. Give assignments for additional information to be shared. Allow others to speak into the challenge with their own insight. Some hard things require an outside person to help like a counselor or consultant. An independent perspective can provide new ideas on how to address concerns. You can’t face hard things alone. It requires a call to action from others.Start the conversation and lead others to take positive steps to address the challenge. Click To Tweet
- Stop doing the same thing.
If you keep doing the same thing, don’t expect different results. Something has to change. It may mean a leadership change on your team or exiting an existing ministry or business. It may mean major intervention for your marriage or family. You may need to reset your organization or change your strategy completely. A hard thing requires hard actions to do things differently. It will take courage to lead others to stop doing things the same way and take a new direction. But this is what great leaders do: they lead their families and their organizations through change toward a future full of hope and purpose.
What hard things do you face? What action can you take today to move yourself and others to face the challenges and face the future?
“But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – Christ.” Ephesians 4:15