Today was an embarrassing day. I was on the radio being interviewed by phone and I accidentally hung up right in the middle of a sentence. I was mortified! Fortunately, I had entered the phone number in my speed dial so I was able to get back on quickly. The problem was, my heart was racing and I felt like such a fool and I had to continue with the rest of the interview.
How do you maintain your composure when you make a huge mistake in front of lots of people? That is the situation good leaders must be able to handle. We all make mistakes from time to time. How we handle them differentiates the seasoned leader from the less experienced.
Every leader I have ever interviewed has said they have made numerous mistakes to get to where they are. And I’m not just saying this to make myself feel better. Research supports this, as does testimony from the most powerful leaders in the world. Warren Buffet, for example forgave one of his leaders for making a $360 million mistake, saying “we all make mistakes. If you can’t make mistakes, you can’t make decisions. I’ve made a lot bigger mistakes myself.”
“It’s dangerous to be safe” said the president of a large Chicago-based construction company in Bill Treasurer’s book, Leaders Open Doors. Treasurer tells leaders creating purposeful discomfort is a way to develop future leaders. In other words, they must learn how to handle uncomfortable situations to grow.
Ironically, in the radio interview, I was talking about my book, Flying without a Helicopter, and how important it is for leaders to be resilient. I was saying how younger people are getting fewer opportunities in their childhood to build resilience. And there I was—sink or swim. I had to be resilient in the moment to not only save face, but be a good role model to my listeners.
It wasn’t my best interview ever, but I got through it and live to tell about it. It wasn’t fun at the time or for several hours afterward, but it turned into a learning opportunity. And so it will for you when you make a big mistake in front of lots of people. At least it will give you a good story to tell.
Joanie Connell hosts a Women Lead Radio interview with Catherine Mattice, co-author of Back off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work. Joanie gets Catherine to give tips on how to fight bullies, both for employers and employees. Listen here.
Have you ever thought about scrapping your traditional career and following your passion in art or something crazy like that? It sounds impossible, but it’s not. What it takes is courage, resilience, flexibility, and independence.
Rose Hagan began her career as a lawyer before pivoting to pursue her love of art. Listen to her story as Joanie Connell interviews her on Women Lead Radio.
In the spring, baby birds are born. Within a couple of weeks, they grow feathers and fly the nest. People raise babies to grow up and be able to fly the nest too. At least they used to. Due to the rise in “helicopter parenting,” many of today’s grown children stay tethered to the nest, move back home as adults, or never leave at all.
Do you wonder what type of career or business is right for you? Joanie shares the types of assessments she uses to help people to find out what motivates them and discover their self-awareness so they can find out what fits them.
Entrepreneurship requires many different skill sets besides your particular talent. Find out how Joanie learned to master these skills that are needed such as promoting your talent, online marketing and more.
When you change career paths you’re going to be dealing with a lot of discomfort. Find out how to deal with the discomfort and still plow ahead. Listen here.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” –Viktor F. Frankl
The principal of a school was concerned about a complaint from a parent regarding the size of the desks in the third grade classroom. “Some of the children are this tall [pointing low] and others are that tall [pointing high], but the desks are all made for kids of this [average] height.” “Therefore,” she continued, “some of the kids will be uncomfortable. Are you okay with the kids being uncomfortable?” Feeling trapped, the principal wondered if he needed to go out and buy new desks of varying height.
If I were the principal, my answer would be very simple: “Yes, I am okay with them being uncomfortable.” Yes, it is important for kids to learn how to adapt to their environment. If we keep customizing the environment to make each person comfortable, not only will we go bankrupt, but we’ll also keep them from being able to adjust to the world around them. Continue reading The Quest for Comfort is Killing our Ability to Adapt→
“Helicopter Parenting”—hovering over and doing too many things for your kids, protecting them, and not letting them learn those skills themselves—is leading to problems when they get older and enter the workplace. Corporate executives often complain about younger people coming into the workplace lacking some of the basic life skills that are necessary to succeed, like being independent, resilient, having good communication skills, and creativity.
Why Is This Important?
“Of course, there are pluses and minuses to every style of parenting. On the one hand, when we’re protecting our kids, we’re keeping them safe. But, on the other hand, when we’re overly protective we’re dis-empowering them, unintentionally depriving them of the opportunities they need to do for themselves… Listen to the interview.
Stories never told before by Joanie Connell. Learn how her childhood led her to success in the workplace and to write the book Flying without a Helicopter. Jeff Smith asks the right questions to get deep, personal responses. Listen to the podcast now.
Adverse situations are a fact of life, but passively wishing for them to resolve on their own rarely works. The better strategy is to face them head-on with both resilience and decisiveness
“Being decisive requires resilience in the moment,” explains Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D. of Flexible Work Solutions. She describes resilience as “being able to stay strong and positive in the face of adversity.” Everyone deals with tough situations in life, but people who are resilient can handle the hardships better.