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8 leadership lessons for navigating challenging times

Opinion & Analysis
leadership lessons

LEADERS play a pivotal role, not only in leading and controlling but giving encouragement and motivation in difficult times. Leaders often emerge in tough times.

In life, we go through trying or challenging times. We all have a share of our problems or plights as long as we are still breathing. Some people have taken those problems and turned them into profit-making ventures. True success is not measured by how much money we might have, even though that might be a manifestation of wealth, but by the attitude we take when we are going through storms.


A leader is an encourager. A leader is a promise. The greatest promise we have is hope. The future is usually what we make now. Pain affects both the leader and the follower, but a great leader stays strong and shows resilience in challenging times.


Problems make people not think properly or straight and great leaders deposit seeds and principles that make them not think of problems, but solutions. Instead of thinking about the power of possibilities, they think about the power of their problems.  Focus on what has to be your success. The subconscious mind works this way; we become what we constantly think about, and not what we might wish for. Tony Robbins says, “Keep your goals in front of you and your fears behind you”. Focus on developing yourself! In order to start living your life, start doing what you love the most amidst the hardships. Learn to dance through the storms and cry in the rain. Henry Ford once said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”


When the storm hits, stay disciplined, don’t quit. A lot happens in a storm and great leaders thrive beyond the storm. You might decide to quit but think twice. Storms make us stronger. Truth be told, problems are lessons. Obstructions are instructions. As hard times hit, there are people that you must, at all costs, avoid.

People you should avoid

These are doubters: these are people that tell you that you won’t win, just quit before you are finished. There are talkers — these are people that talk too much, but they don’t give you the solutions to come out a winner. They divert your focus with uncouth, baseless, and negative words.  Acidic people: there are people that are always negative. When we are going up a mountain, we need sheer leaders. There are those that are past-minded. They have reference points as to when and where you fell. They are good at pointing out what you failed at and attributing it to your failure in the future. Lastly, there is a group of despisers. They will make you feel very low and out.

When you think big, some people think you are crazy, but until such a time they will see you taking awards. Remember, most people are afraid that you will become great, that is why they want you to stay with them in their gossip, small talk, and small-thinking mindsets. Don't waste your time on what other people think about you. That's an extra job, work on your craft until you are on the crest.

Preparation for take-off

Opportunities are well received by prepared people. As we go through hard times, we have this confidence that one day a good opportunity will come, but it will only be relevant to those that are prepared. Winning in hard times takes leaders and people that are emotionally strong. As we speak, there are people that will sit and complain, whilst others are working on their life. When a season of abundance comes, the prepared reap from it bountifully.

Preparation is key to success. Poor preparation brings poor results. Success loves preparation, therefore, success is married to preparation. The best guarantee for success is great preparation. Opportunity comes to all of us, whether you are ready or not ready. Preparation applies in all facets of life, monetarily, medically, mentally, spiritually, physically and educationally.

Don’t sleep in the storm

There is nothing new under the sun, says the Wiseman. The problems you may be facing might have gone through them. As a result, don’t hit more walls blindly. To be successful in life, don't do what the majority do. The majority are lazy to think, they don't want to work hard, they think life will give them a fortune, they don't read, they watch too much TV, they sleep too much and are afraid to fail. They take the seemingly easy road. You know where they will end? In a hard life, broke, poor, miserable, mediocre, unsatisfied and someone will offer your job to help them fulfill their own dream. Know who you learn from as you face challenges.

Change yourself

Limitations are only present in the mind. The same mind can learn to see possibilities. It's hard to change the world, but it's possible to change ‘you’, especially how you see things. At times we see the world from the wrong perspective. We wear dirty glasses and that taints how we see things. At times, it’s not so bad out there, but we are bad inside. We must clean the glasses that we use to view life.

The choice is yours

You have two choices, either to live a mediocre life or a mega one and to see hardships from a better shed of light. The way to spend your life is how you are going to be remembered. All of us go through hard times, but the successful come out hardened to be winners in life. Joel Osteen says, “You're going to go through tough times — that's life. But I say, 'Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.' See the positive in negative events”.

Jonah Nyoni is an author, speaker, and leadership trainer. He can be contacted on Twitter @jonahnyoni. WhatsApp: +263 772 581 918

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