The key to problem solving is IMMEDIATELY channeling your emotion into a positive direction and keeping your cool. People want to follow a strong leader who always has a game plan (or at least looks like they do) to overcome any challenging situation.
Here is my 3 step formula for channeling that energy:
First is Composure.
Remember things are often not as good as they seem or as bad as they sound. Resist the urge to flip out in the very first moment you hear of bad news. (You can flip out later when you’re by yourself all you want) Your initial reaction to a problem sets the tone and mood for the way that you and those around you respond to the situation. And also it forms a habit for all of you about how you will deal with problems in the future. So have DISCIPLINE and begin to start channeling your emotions and staying composed. Remember Carl from the old TV Show Family Matters: “3,2,1…1,2,3…what the heck is bothering me…breathe.”
Second is Clarity.
DISCIPLINE yourself to not just start taking control and yanking things around in every which direction. Instead ask questions of yourself and of those involved in the situation to make sure that you CLARIFY exactly what the challenge is, what factually happened, and to identify what limitations are legitimately on the situation. You’ll be amazed that when you take the emotional energy out of tough situations there is almost always a clear actionable game plan that reveals itself. The trick once again is learning to view things through a logical lens rather than an emotional one.
Not take control necessarily; but control the things you can control. Don’t focus on what is wrong with the situation. Focus only on what you can do about it. Control the controllables, execute, and take immediate action on what you can to influence things in a positive direction. One thing I’ve seen to be true in dire business and personal situations is that even in times of complete hopelessness, if you just focus on taking the step that is immediately in front of you, then the next one appears more clearly, and then the next, and the next. Which is exactly how you climb the CN Tower with 144 flights of stairs.
That’s how you “Take the Stairs” in the face of adversity.
You are a champion.