When situations become very complex and a significant direction must be set that is time sensitive, their is no manual for leading.  If you don’t have the answer and haven’t the time to look it up, what do you do?

Many leaders feel and fear this resistance and they disappear, only returning to pass judgment later on, and place the blame on people with lesser titles and salary.  Some leaders approach this point in time with blaming others for making their life difficult and again blame others for putting them in this difficult position.  Your response today as a leader if this occurs before you and the team you lead is to do what?

So, there is no manual.  Here’s some guidance or prompts taken, applied, and adapted from a number of respected and published leaders in a variety of fields:

  1. calm is contagious
  2. fall in love with the problem (even in shortened time frames, don’t just “do things”)
  3. create a collaborative and corrective map (solutions: X = sh*t & Y = genius; chose Y)
  4. involve and stand with the group through to the solution
  5. share ownership of the resulting outcomes
  6. construct a post-mortem review of the problem to set a proactive future course

I’m sure you have a number of other thoughts, sayings, or quips from your experiences where there is no manual.  Log into the Applied Leadership blog and add your guidance for what worked for you.  I will then post those collective thoughts in a future post.



2 thoughts on “Manuals

  1. I learned years ago to use the mantra “We’ll make it work” in all the various obstacles thrown at our program. That modeling and commitment became very contagious. I agree with your list of prompts, when there is ownership and willingness to be a part of the solution, the investment from others really grows. Good article!


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