Surprise! I’m a channel surfer. As in, give me the remote and let’s see what is on every one of the 500 channels I have on my TV. And let’s do it as fast as we can. Jewelry ad, sports, news, news, news, Sesame Street, news, sports, sports, sports, reality TV, soap, soap, Hispanic, cartoon, cartoon, cartoon, Judge Judy, cartoon, reality, reality, National Geographic, sports, sports, history, Sci-Fi, Sports, reality, reality… wow!
That was exhilarating! After all, who really has time to sit down and watch one of those really cool dramas on TV like CSI (I’ve never seen an episode) or Jersey Shore (I mean everyone is talking about it!)
In the rare moments, those quiet golden moments, that I get to sit down and turn on the ol’ tube, I surf. Knowing I only have a few minutes, I never commit to a long story. I like it best when I come across those reality shows like “When Good Things Go Bad.” Short quick episodes of people running the bulls in Spain when suddenly one guy is trapped and the bulls have him cornered. Or one time I saw a couple at a wedding walking down the aisle when they tripped and fell backwards into a fountain! Alright! There is some quality TV! That is worth my time! If I am committing to fifteen minutes, I want a crash scene, a fight scene, a funny scene or a love scene.
But Life isn’t channel surfing.
(Or maybe it is… Twitter, Facebook…)
But in Real Life… sometimes, Good Things really do Go Bad
I’m not a prophet of doom. I am positive and have learned the power of optimism. But from time to time, Good things in relationships and in business go bad.
Here is a quick reminder if you are facing a bad time:
It could turn into a good time!
Practice Framing: Whether in a personal or business challenge it is your responsibility as a leader to “Frame” a mental context picture of the situation here and now. Use pictures and symbols to define reality. You can frame the situation or others will, or let it slide and it will go from bad to worse!
Rules for Framing
1. Control the Context: You can’t always control events, but get out in front and control the way they are understood by others. This is very important if you lead an organization.
2. Define the Situation: Give a mental model to others where you connect them in a meaningful way. Create a culture of “sense-making” where people’s motives choose a right path, not a destructive one.
3. Be Courageous: Communicate clearly and honestly. Do not be afraid of personal or team “open audit times.” The revealing of feelings can be the beginning of healing and restoration of a bad time or challenging set-back. Be courageous and start right away!
4. Interpret Uncertainty: To reduce uncertainty, choose a leadership moment. Remember Giuliani taking charge in New York City after 9/11. There was a lot of turbulence and uncertainty but it felt reassuring when he took charge with honest clarity to interpret our uncertainty.
5. Design the Response: The toughest time to lead yourself and others is during deep challenge. You may not know all of the winds and the waves coming at you, but you can set a course. The moment you choose to get engaged and tackle your problem, you will feel empowered. The victim mentality will be powerfully replaced by the victor’s mindset. Start designing your first “7 Days Response.”
6. Manage Your Emotions: Emotions drive behaviors. Good effective leaders learn to self-manage their emotions. Just last week I had a courageous conversation. It was a conference call that I knew was going to be challenging and had a high potential to emotionally hijack me! I wrote four big letters on a sheet in front of me: “CALM.” I knew a lot was at stake and staying calm was my most significant leadership assignment. I needed a win/win not an I win, you Lose!
When good things go bad, try the powerful steps of “Framing.”
Hmmm. I wonder what is on TV?… oh good a motorcycle race!
You Matter to Me!