Getting Results In Difficult Times: Criticism Tolerance

Develop a high tolerance for criticism.

Leading toward sustained results in challenging times will often lead to criticism and being misunderstood.  Leaders who get things done have to develop tough skin and personal resolve.

A Senior Vice President had to explain to his Regional Sales Managers, who were celebrating a profitable year, that while they had met expectations on profitability, new sales revenue had actually slipped. The SVP believes the numbers indicate a weakness and future problems that need to be addressed.  One of the managers wanted to know why he couldn’t just celebrate the success.

Leaders who achieve sustained results in difficult times seek to understand and communicate the story the numbers are telling.  Even if that story is unpopular.


Getting Results In Difficult Times: Clear Objective

Courageously declare your intended objective.

What are you aiming for?  What are you asking your team to accomplish?  Can you state the objective in one simple sentence?

For example, when Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, he simply described it as, “The world’s thinnest notebook.”

The primary task of the leader in difficult times is to clear away the clutter and noise so people can concentrate on the goal.  The best way to silence the noise is to go on record with a bold objective that will demand the complete concentration of your team to accomplish it.

Once the objective has been set, remind everyone daily and explain why it’s critical to the future of your firm every chance you get.


Showing The Way

…is almost always more effective than giving directives.

The best way to motivate your people toward generating more business is to lead by example.  What’s on your calendar?

If you’re not devoting a significant amount of time meeting with clients, your people may have a hard time taking you serious next time you ask them to sell more. People must see you take personal action for growing the business before they can hear you.