by Dr. Delatorro McNeal II, author of “Shift into a Higher Gear: Better Your Best and Live Life to the Fullest“
There is no doubt that we have all been forced to adapt to an ever-changing world. From the pandemic to politics, from social media to technological advancements – there is always something going on and always a need to stop and breathe during a storm. It can become so easy to get caught up in what we see and allow ourselves to be distracted. After all, distractions and turbulence come without warning or permission and expect us to just align with the new agenda. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your background is or what you believe; at the end of the day, you have to make sure that when the going gets tough, you face the storm head-on and stand up as the leader you are.
When it comes to leading during turbulent times, it can be quite difficult and intimidating to embark upon such a task. Feeling ill-prepared, frustrated, or inadequate can be some of the emotions that arise. Turbulence has the audacity to come and shake you up, wanting you to throw in the proverbial towel, but not before wiping your tears with it. However, there are ways that you can let turbulence know that it will NOT remove you from your first class seat towards success. The end result, or destination, is that place where you belong – wherever that may be. And nothing has the right to pull you from that point.
Allow me to share 5 simple words that can recalibrate your ability to lead effectively, even during turbulent and chaotic times.
Leaders always know when to shift. It may not be comfortable or desired, but it is necessary. If everything around you is changing, take a look at its direction instead of complaining about the direction. The smallest shift in your business, your career, your lifestyle, your relationships, or even your way of thinking can literally save your life and the success of future endeavors.
When leaders choose to shift, they know that every movement is calculated and is about more than just them. It’s tempting to be selfish and avoid change; however, small shifts made by one person can cause a ripple effect of abundance for others. The smallest shift can make the biggest difference. Therefore, do not fear shifting; rather, fear standing still.
Leaders choose to live. Yes, it really is that simple. Many people are alive but not living; however, the act and art of living goes beyond discomfort. It goes beyond possible losses. It supersedes thoughts of difficulty. Instead, it is rooted and grounded in our necessity to experience everything that we are and were created to experience – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent.
If you choose not to live, you are telling your breath that you don’t value it. You are telling your talents that you don’t need them. You are telling your voice that it does not deserve to be heard. You are telling your wealth that it has no value. Those aren’t the actions of a leader, and leaders recognize the important of living life to the fullest. Turbulence cannot kill you and when you make it to the other side of the storm, you’ll emerge stronger.
Leaders let absolutely nothing go to waste. It’s synonymous with recycling; just because something has been used up in one sense does not mean it no longer has a purpose. If it exists, it can persist! And yes, that goes for the turbulence and the inconveniences that turbulence causes.
Go back and take a look at everything that you once counted out. Maybe the timing was off. Maybe the count wasn’t right. Maybe the idea was out of season. Maybe the project wasn’t ready. Whatever the chaotic times caused you to give up on, go back and look again. You are sure to discover that there is a purpose in that painful occasion, in that seemingly failed investment, or even in that moment of frustration. Leaders will find purpose in everything, even if the purpose is merely a lesson learned.
Leaders know how to eliminate the irrelevant. When times of change or discomfort come along, responses mean everything. When a response is not conducive to forward movement, it has to be eliminated immediately. There is no time to sit and let things that halt growth plant themselves in the midst of progression. Therefore, you have to know when and how to eliminate quickly.
Negativity is never acceptable. It has to be plucked at the root and discarded. If it doesn’t add value to you, it’s dividing you, and so you must subtract it from your life.
Leaders are grateful. That is one of the greatest gifts that a leader can have. Gratitude makes leaders realize how fortunate they are to experience the times they are in, even when things don’t look the greatest. Grateful people create environments for gratitude to thrive. They don’t make excuses for what is not, but they focus on what is and maximize that. When turbulent times arise, they take a moment to breathe, focus and recognize that they were made for such a time as this.
Mediocrity cannot dwell where gratitude resides. Every leader knows this and chooses to be thankful that they are alive to cross another finish line.
Regardless of what may be going on around you, you have the power to lead effectively. Let nothing and no one change that.
International keynote speaker, Dr. Delatorro McNeal II, is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Performance Global, LLC. As a trusted and preferred motivational speaker, featured on major television corporations, he partners with Fortune 500 corporations, professional associations, and entrepreneurs to drastically improve productivity, development, communication and more. His 8th book is “Shift into a Higher Gear: Better Your Best and Live Life to the Fullest“.