Coaching Leadership in Times of Crisis

My entire coaching career has been about coaching leadership in times of crisis. Burnout, setback, failure, incredible opportunity and success, all of it may constitute a crisis for you at some point in time. defines a crisis as “a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.”

Did you catch it? “the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined.” You are at a “turning point.” And this is where the benefits of an executive coach will help you make the best decisions for moving forward.

When It All Goes Up in Smoke


Back when I was a kid, my visiting cousins and I lined up a bunch of firecrackers on an old rail fence across the road from our house. We had great fun lighting them off.

Later during a meal my Mom had prepared for our guests, my Uncle jumped up and shouted, “There’s a fire.”

So much for the fun …

Sometimes things can seem to be going so well. You think you’ve got it made. Finally something is moving reasonably forward just the way you wanted it to.

And then …

Bam. The whole rail fence goes up in smoke.

Let’s talk about that. It’s really essential that we think about how we are going to keep going even when smoke hangs over your best efforts like a thick cloud.

Now I know that’s not a very uplifting topic on the surface, but I want to share a few thoughts on what to do next. You see, the next thing you do is critical. It makes all the difference moving forward.

What Will You Do When it All Goes Up in Smoke?

This may sound simplistic, but not everything succeeds. But you knew that already. Stuff happens. News can be bad. Setbacks occur, sometimes major. Disappointment reaches out and tightens its grip. 

Everyone knows this. As leaders, we’ve all experienced it firsthand. The real question is. What are you going to do now?

Are you going to let it paralyze you? Quit? Never try something bold again? What are you going to do?

It seems to me that the thing that sets achievers apart is that they get knocked down and they get back up again and keep going. They have an attitude that persists when others around them would quit.

Resilient and Moving Ahead


I remember a friend of our family. He had both legs removed. He went blind. It seemed like medical problems were piling up. As a young teen I remember listening intently as he told my Dad, “A lot of people are a lot worse off than I am.”

I’ve often thought back to that statement when I was feeling sorry for myself over some personal, business, or ministry setback.

That man personified what I’m trying to get at. He’d suffer a setback but he’d get right back up and keep going, on his first wooden leg and then in a wheelchair. He had a spirit that didn’t stay down but reached forward to what was still possible.

Tough financial difficulties, moving forward in the face of critical or untrue comments, shutting down a business you started, going through a disaster that wipes out your facility, losing your closest trusted and capable people, dealing with burnout, or leading through a pandemic, it all presents a perfectly understandable reason to quit.

But you will not do that.

Coaching Leadership in Times of Crisis


But achievers don’t quit. They get up and keep going. They start over if they have to but they focus their mind and efforts forward.

It’s at a time like this that I as your Coach can be of tremendous help. I will help you set aside all the pressing thoughts and focus on what really matters. As your Coach I can help you define outcomes, get needed clarity, make decisions, and then create structure and forward movement.

While coaching leadership in times of crisis, a few things keep coming up. You too can benefit from insights my clients have gained. Let me suggest seven ways to deal with disappointment and crisis, and continue to move forward. 

Move Toward the Problem

Don’t run away from the problem. Run to it. It’s yours to deal with and you will deal with it. Better to do it now than let things wear on.

As we coach together, we don’t hesitate to discuss the problem, no matter how raw it feels at first.

Tap into Your Support Network

Take the time to tell somebody else your troubles. Don’t bottle it up. A trusted colleague, your spouse, a sincere friend, an expert … talk to somebody. Get it out and then get on with it. You need to tell your story. It’s healthy.

During coaching we identify those few key individuals it would be good to connect with. These people will support you through.

Look for the Opportunity

You’ve heard the old adage, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” I’m not sure if it’s actually silver but there is often an opportunity if we look for it, even in the toughest of situations. Erect a better facility, create a more streamlined, less encumbered system, start a different business or find new people.

During coaching, we’ll explore the new possibilities, as tough to see as they may be in the moment.

Don’t Dwell on it Any Longer Than You Have To

Focus forward. Let it go and reach for your new objective with energy and fresh enthusiasm. Soak every lesson you can out of whatever happened but don’t let it keep it’s grip on you. It’s time to move on. As we coach together, we’ll stay focused forward.

Establish a New Plan and Execute It

That opportunity we talked about … put your effort into creating a plan to make it a reality … and then execute the plan. Get busy with a positive forward-moving investment of energy.

Our conversations will begin to reveal a new plan. As our discussions and time move along, the plan will become clearer and clearer.

Remember, Attitude is Everything

Be grateful for what you do have. Be positive about the future. A good attitude is contagious. Others will catch it. It multiplies. Practice the art of a good attitude and it will grow and foster an even better attitude and put a little more spring in your step.

I can’t emphasize enough how good coaching affects attitude for the better. It’s about having that close partner working alongside you through this.

Coaching leadership in times of crisis has proven to me that those executives and professionals who refocus their attitudes positively forward do so much better. Make that you. 

Draw from Your Faith

God doesn’t always tell us why something happened. But He does tell us how to get through it, with His help. God is always there to come alongside no matter the setback or loss. He is there to give a strength, focus and perseverance we never thought we could muster up.

Draw on Him. As a Christian executive coach, I can point you to help, examples and support from the Bible. We can bring God into every situation.

It's Time to Find Solutions and Move Forward

Let's take those things that can press us down, and rise above them. Don’t stay down long. I'm not trying to be rah, rah rah. But, let's start moving toward what's next. Get up and move forward in the most positive way possible.

While coaching leadership in times of crisis, I've noted it's sometimes tough getting refocused and moving. But that's precisely why I coach leaders and executives like you.

If you are at one of those most critical of times in your work, life or leadership, send me a message and we can explore how one on one executive coaching will help you at this critical juncture.

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