All leaders go through difficult times.  They are inevitable.  Sometimes the challenges come from our own poor choices.  Sometimes they result from the actions of others, and other times from no one’s fault at all.  They just happen.

Inc. magazine is one of my favorites publications and one of their best issues is the annual 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies In America.  One of the key learnings from this edition are the insights provided by some of today’s top CEOs on surviving difficult times.

Their thoughts will help anyone who leads a church, sports team, business, non-profit, or even their family.  The following are 5 Practices Of Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times:

  1. Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times Humble ThemselvesGSATI CEO Cindy Tysinger was forced to borrow money from a family during a difficult financial stretch.  Being humble and asking others for help is key to surviving difficult times.
  2. Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times Physically Exercise – The pressures of business and formidable competition were causing BoomTown CEO Grier Allen tremendous stress which resulted in poor anger management.  He noted, “Running releases a lot of stress.  It clears my mind and lets me detach from the digital world for a little while.  If I don’t get out and run at least twice or three times a week, I just start feeling crazy.”
  3. Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times Find Support From Other LeadersEnSite Solutions CEO Toby Thomas realized his need to have other leaders for support when he had a falling out with his initial business partners.  Thomas said, “When you go into a business with partners, you’re spreading the risk out.  But when you suddenly don’t have that support system, it’s like you’re in a black hole.”
  4. Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times Think Long-Term – Failure is part of the success journey.  Renegade Furniture Group CEO Visroel Bruce Krinsky advises to be in your decisions for the long haul.  He wisely advised, “If you can think of any problem you have today, picture your reaction in seven years.  Will it be affecting you then?”
  5. Leaders Who Survive Difficult Times Develop A Healthy Self-ImageMixbook CEO Andrew Laffoon was turned down often early in his career by a number of venture capitalists.  Rejection often destroys many leaders.  He advises all leaders that “if your identity is all wrapped up in this company you’ve built, when someone rejects it, they’re rejecting you.”

Humble Yourself, Exercise, Find Support From Other Leaders, Think Long-Term, and Develop A Healthy Self-Image.  If you have these 5 practices in your life, you may be a leader who survives difficult times.

What are other practices you have put in place to survive difficult times?


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