May 31

How to Turn Things Around Quickly | WT #54


One ironic observation is that when things are going well, people aren’t as open to being great men and women and building great organizations or as likely to notice greatness in others as when things are difficult. It’s often adversity that leads to greatness.

This begs the question: How do you act on this insight?

Stay focused on long-term decision making and help your team do the same. How? Double-down on being great men and women, building great organizations and achieving great integrity, magnanimity, and permanence. Long-term decisions should help you be great and achieve great things, not hinder you.

How do you do that?

  1. Complete your own best/likely/worst case scenario planning.
  2. Lead the way. Be proactive and create a list of questions to ask your team to keep them focused on long-term decision making.
  3. Using the 80/20 principle, create solutions to the 3-5 most likely issues your team may have.
  4. Make decisions using principles along with your knowledge and experience. It’s easy to forget about principles under stress
  5. Execute decisions with your values and the virtue of magnanimity (avoid doing the minimum you have to do and do the maximum you could do).

I hope this plan to turn things around quickly helps you focus on what’s most important: to do some deep thinking and invest time in your key people.

About the author 

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is Co-Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute. He is a native Texan and a graduate of Dallas Jesuit and Texas A&M University. Over the past 25 years, Darren has visited 35 countries and led 100 strategy programs. He and his wife have five children.


80/20 Principle, Decision-making, Leadership, Long-term Planning, Team Building, Turning Things Around

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