5 Ways to beat a Leadership Funk

April 10, 2014 Vince Molinaro

In my last Gut Check blog, I described how leaders sometimes find themselves in a funk – a period of depression or doldrums when we just aren’t at our best.

Maybe you’ve lost your passion. Maybe you find yourself complaining more often. Maybe you’re letting small details slide.

If you find yourself in a funk, you need to admit your problem and commit to getting out of it now. Staying bogged down in a funk will not only hurt your career as a leader, it will bring down your organization as well.

Ah, but where to start? Funks can be difficult to shed. There is a lack of hope and optimism that comes with being in a funk that can convince some leaders that there’s no way out.

As leaders, however, we know there is always a way out if we work hard enough to solve the problem. For those of you suffering from a funk, here are some ideas to consider:

1)      Admit that you’re in a funk.

Funks are easy to get into and often hard to escape. Like any great personal challenge, the first step is to admit you have a problem and then seek help as soon as possible. Some leaders resist accepting this reality. Many push on and end up fooling themselves and others that everything is fine. Well I’m here to tell you that if you are in a funk everything isn’t fine. Push your ego aside and accept it. It’s the only way to get back on track.

2)      Stop whining.

It’s easy to feel the victim. Complaining can quickly become a habit. Once it sets in, it makes it harder for you to break out of a funk. So stop it! Even if it’s justified, stop it! You’ll claim a small victory.

3)      Find your source of inspiration.

Many leaders find inspiration within. Others may have to look elsewhere for that spark. I find my greatest sources of inspiration are my team and clients. I spend time chatting with members of my team. I see their commitment and energy, and it immediately has a positive effect on me.

4)      Reconnect to your personal leadership story.

All leaders have a story, those defining moments that shaped who we are and how we lead. One leader I worked with said that whenever she found herself in a funk, she thought back on all of the leaders she worked with early in her career. Specifically, she focused on her mentor and the example he set.

5)      Talk to a trusted colleague.

Sometimes the best way to get out of a funk is to have someone else shake you up. We all need a trusted colleague, someone who knows you and can be counted on to be frank and honest. Seek their counsel and be open to the straight goods.

A chronic funk serves no one and can be a leader’s undoing if left unchecked. Put these ideas into action and challenge yourself to step up as a leader – your team and organization need you to be at your best.

Join the conversation @VinceMolinaro

About the Author

Vince Molinaro

Vince Molinaro is the Global Managing Director of Strategic Solutions at Lee Hecht Harrison. He is also the author of The Leadership Contract – a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Vince has spent more than 20 years as an adviser to boards and senior executives looking to improve leadership in their organizations.

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