When Things Go Wrong: It’s Time to Evaluate Maturity

When things go wrong, it’s time to evaluate the maturity of your people, your leaders and yourself!  Don’t be shy…it is at that very moment that you should observe very carefully to see who is ready for what role!

In some areas when things don’t go our way, our natural tendency as humans is to:
1. Let our attitudes tank.
2. Hurt others.
3. Give up.
 

If that happens, we become just like a child – unaware and unable to control our thoughts and behaviors.

Can you relate?

when things go wrong picture

Three years ago, our company invited our 60 employees and their families to a Christmas party at a nice restaurant.  This was a big deal for us as leaders from a cost and morale standpoint.  When we got to the restaurant there was a huge misunderstanding, and the owner of the restaurant wanted part of our group to be outside in the cold weather.

I was not happy!

After I perceived that the owner was beginning to get belligerent with our manager who was asking for a better set up, I somewhat lost it.  That ended by him threatening to call the police to have me removed.  Even though I was neither physically violent nor used any choice words, I raised my voice, became verbally aggressive and had a threatening posture!  (Not good for the COO of the company and the one who is preaching great leadership.)

Luckily, my brother and our manager were calmer than I.  Realizing there was nothing we could do, they calmly told him that we would move to another establishment.  We were able to go next door to another restaurant that was willing to completely shut down so they could exclusively host our group.  The rest of the evening went very smoothly, and the Christmas party was a success.

The lesson for me?  When things did not go my way, I was not mature enough to handle them in a proper and calm manner.

What I learned in the subsequent years in this area has really shaped my leadership.

I now believe that people’s level of maturity is one of the most important criteria in determining whether they are ready for bigger roles in leadership.

Leaders simply cannot “lose it,” become abusive, emotional, moody or erratic when things go wrong for them, and still expect to have respect from and influence on their people.

Regardless whether you are a team member, manager, parent, CEO or a president – when things go wrong, you do not have the license to go awry!  Are you aware of your thoughts and behaviors?  Everyone is watching you.

So, the next time something goes wrong for you or for others, be very aware and observant of the following:

1. Does their attitude tank?
• Do they become:
1. Depressed?
2. Mad?
3. Bitter?
4. Unfriendly?
5. Unhelpful?
6. Emotional?
7. Hysterical?
 

(For more on Attitude check out:  Bad Attitude, You’re Fired! (Part I) and Bad Attitude, You’re Fired! (Part II))

2. Do they start hurting others?
Do they talk badly about others?
• Do they become:
1. Rude?
2. Snippy?
3. Critical?
4. Abusive?
5. Unforgiving?
 
3. Do they give up?
• Do they become passive-aggressive?
• Do they stop trying?
• Do they want to quit?
 

 Maturity – What people do when things go wrong  – is an essential area in the study and practice of leadership.

Great leaders do not accept immaturity as a normal part of their team.
Great leaders hire mature people and expect mature behavior from them.
Great leaders work the hardest on themselves in the area of maturity.
 
They set the example and then watch their teams excel!
 

Your Friend,
Wes Saade MD Signature

PS – If you know someone who may benefit from this blog, please consider sharing!

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