Have you ever landed in a situation where you have chosen to not accept the reality of the situation? Many of us, myself included, have landed in this fairyland type destination where we have chosen to not accept and therefore not define reality. Sometimes it's because we are overly optimistic and miss the signs. I know that for me personally, I am always a glass half full type person, but sometimes the glass is not half full... sometimes it's half empty. We may choose to ignore reality due to optimism or for many other reasons including a will to push forward and the thought if we were to just work hard enough, we can get past whatever issue we are dealing with or we just plain don't want to face reality. This can be done consciously and subconsciously.
In reality (no pun intended) with any of the reasons above, we are hurting ourselves and our Team. We are hurting ourselves by not accepting and defining and we are hurting our Team by not being able to communicate the reality of the situation and the consequences and following steps that will need to be taken. What started out as naivety, overly optimistic or a feeling of wanting to push through to solve, we will ultimately not have a good ending.
When you choose to not define reality, you relinquish all control. You have handed your leadership over to another source and therefore are not being truthful to yourself or your Team. When you are not truthful, you loose trust. One needs to remember that a Team Member buys into the person first, then into them as a Leader and then into the Leader's vision. To gain the buy - in, you need a solid foundation of trust. If you loose the trust, you loose the buy-in. You can get the trust back, but it will be a long-trip back.
To avoid heading to the fairyland destination, John Maxwell outlines a series of six questions to ask yourself when you have an issue arise:
What is the reality in this situation?
Can I identify each issue?
Can the issues be fixed?
What are the options?
Am I willing to follow the game plan?
Will my leadership team follow the game plan?
I would also add in that after you have answered these questions, it's imperative to speak with your Team as a whole. Define the reality to them and explain the game plan. This conveys to the Team that you are aware of the reality, an area that some of them have probably already defined themselves, fosters further trust and creates a team mentality to fix the issue or at the very least have an understanding of what is to come. Reality and honesty will go far and translate into understanding with your Team.
As Peter Drucker says, " A time of turbulence is a dangerous time, but its greatest danger is a temptation to deny reality." Don't deny. Define your reality and take control of your game plan.
Kendra Clark Leadership Strategies is a global agency located in Stockton, CA focusing on executive coaching and leadership, business and marketing strategy consulting with a focus on sports and entertainment, hospitality, tourism and non profit organizations. As a member of the John Maxwell Team, Kendra helps organizations and executives overcome any hurdles they may be facing through purposeful leadership and strategy. To learn more about our services, please email Kclark@kclstrategies.com or visit www.kclstrategies.com.