EM 191 | Remaining Productive During a Personal Crisis


In this week’s Executive Minds, Kevin sits down with co-mentors David and Jeff to discuss how to remain productive during a personal crisis. As a leader, we’re expected to drive performance and lead a team towards a shared goal but perhaps team members are experiencing personal hardships for which you need to account. Whether it’s a loss of a loved one or a fight with a spouse, we all can find ourselves dealing with something that can impact our work. There’s a tension in figuring when is it best to push forward and when to pull back. How do you show up when you’re not okay? We hope this on-time conversation is as helpful and insightful for you as it was for the team. Thanks for tuning in!

Links + Resources


Three Takeaways:

Prepare for personal crisis on the front end.

The best leaders are real. Less concerned with being right all of the time, great leaders make sure they are always being genuine. People relate to that authenticity. Acknowledging your humanity, flaws and all, will help people see you as someone with whom they can connect. You want to connect on a human level first before focusing on the task at hand. Proactive counseling is another way to prepare for personal crises. Too often, it’s thought that there must be a trainwreck that happens to drive us into counseling, but life is hard with or without major life events. Counseling helps us prepare for those moments of personal challenge. It empowers us to keep going and strengthens us for the hard times that may follow.

How you know when to give yourself time.

You have to pick your spots. There are going to be days, weeks and seasons where your goal must be to just hang on. You may not be at your best because you’re in the midst of a personal crisis. However, there’s other times when you’ve surveyed the landscape and you’ll know that conditions are right for you to step away. You can live in personal crisis, but you can hang on for a short period and weather the storm. Also, you should listen to people on the other side. People on the outside can provide a more accurate picture of how you’re doing. Surround yourself with trusted friends that can give you the hard but constructive feedback about how you’re truly doing and will be helpful in determining how you need to proceed.

Ask ‘how are you doing?’ twice as much as ‘what you are doing?’

When you ask “how” someone is doing more than “what” they are doing on a consistent basis, he or she will come to understand that you truly care about them and their well-being. Empathy is a huge culture-builder in an organization. Starting meetings with this question and providing space for your team to share will communicate that you understand and empathize with their emotional health. Emotional health will dictate the business and team health.