Strategic Teams Achieving Results

Turning Curveballs Into Leadership Home Runs

Posted on May 11th, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in 2012, Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. No Comments

Curveball2 (1)_290x136_scaled_croppSometimes situations and team members at work throw us curveballs. What causes this and how to you handle it? No one expects a curveball. But when they hit, they can cause you to feel blindsided, stunned and moreover, disappointed.

While you may feel a particular situation or employee let you down or impacted your leadership, the reality is that disappointment arises from a lack of possibility to meet expectations. It breeds where there is no opportunity for success.

Surviving a curveball comes down to the difference between a self-directed and an other-directed person. If you allow a situation at work to let you down, if you believe that a project itself is controlling whether you’re happy or miserable, then you will spend a good deal of your time at work being miserable. If, however, you are able to turn misfortune into opportunity, if you are able to see possibilities in even the most daunting of setbacks, then you have what it takes to be an effective and successful leader no matter what gets thrown at you.

Leadership development expert Keith Ayers, CEO of Integro Leadership Institute further illustrates this latter point by encouraging leaders to look in the mirror at their own behavior to assess the impact they are having on employee engagement, commitment and productivity.

The key to surviving the unexpected curveball is to do what the big-leaguers do:  adjust. Whether you make a fool of yourself swinging as hard as you can or you simply watch the ball go by, learn from what you’ve seen. Step out of the box. Spit on your hands. Adjust your stance, adjust your swing, adjust the way you approach the next pitch. You still won’t know what challenges will be thrown at you, but you’ll have the tools to handle it and turn those into home run opportunities.

Do you have a “curveball” story to share? A time when your team or a leader in your organization let you down? What about our most recent “economic downturn”? How did your team weather the storm? Please respond to this blog post with your story or question. The first three publishable responses we receive will be sent a copy of Keith Ayers book “Engagement is Not Enough”.

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