Effective leaders are experts at keeping cool and appearing in control, even when everything seems to be falling apart. If you are in a leadership position, people are looking to you for strength. If you believe that things will work out, that’ll keep your group calm and confident as well. The opposite is also true. Even if problems do exist, your strength will empower you or your group to find a solution.
An excellent example of this is a recent episode with my wife, Rachel. Many of you who’ve met Rachel know she is an actress and is currently performing in a show in Hollywood. Recently she came out on stage dressed as a 17th century queen, unaware that attached to the back of her dress was a bra! She had no idea how it got there, but the theory is that she must have sat on it backstage before coming out. Well, the audience noticed, and eventually, so did Rachel.
But Rachel didn’t flinch. Backstage, between scenes, she removed the hitchhiking underwear and continued with her performance with her head held high. At the end of the show when she came out for her curtain call, Rachel brought the bra with her! She curtsied holding one side of her dress in one hand and the bra in the other. The audience roared with laughter. After the show, audience and fellow cast members showered her with praise for her poise and sense of humor. Some even wondered if the bra was supposed to be there! No one knew that deep down she was horrified. What mattered was how she handled it. That’s my Rachel!
As a leader, it’s OK for you to feel scared or discouraged. What matters is how you carry yourself and how you address your problems. Remember, fear and strength are both contagious. Try to spread the latter.