Magazine article Independent Banker

Surviving a Leadership Crucible

Magazine article Independent Banker

Surviving a Leadership Crucible

Article excerpt

Every leader has setbacks. Whether by professional misstep, unexpected market shift or tactical miscalculation, every leader will from time to time experience a period where they may feel punched in the gut. Everything is going along as planned and suddenly, seemingly without warning, you're instead picking up pieces of what was your career-or worse, scrambling to control a situation that appears to have taken on a life of its own. What do you do when all that you've worked for is no longer your reality?

This seemingly disastrous shift can best be described as a "leadership crucible." As a leader, the steps you take to recover can be one of the most important learning opportunities of your career.

A setback can all but consume your thinking and disrupt all areas of your life for a period of time. It's human nature to get angry, blame others, seek sympathy from allies and even retreat in a fog of self-doubt. Whether leading a team, a division or an organization, leaders give a tremendous amount of themselves personally, so the failure feels personal and can take its toll.

Your leadership crucible, while difficult to experience, can be a crucial step in your development and can in many cases be a launching point for a renewed trajectory. While it's important to allow for a period of grieving and to lick your wounds, it's also important to begin a process of self-reflection and acceptance. Facing the reality of the situation from a perspective of "What is there to learn?" can often jumpstart the important steps needed to rebound and recover. …

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