As a long term corporate employee for a Fortune 20 company, I’ve witnessed the demonstration of many levels of leadership, from the top of the corporate ladder to the new hire attempting to step into a new leadership position. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing it myself. I can tell you that it’s not easy. There are good days, there are bad days. But the measure of a true leader is that they know and acknowledge this dichotomy and adjust accordingly.

Leaders have recently been faced with some interesting days. This is not just in the financial sector where we’ve seen historic changes, but the auto industry, the travel industry and as business goes the impact to downstream business is also felt. I contend however, that there has never been a better time for high caliber leaders to excel.

In times of flux and crisis, true leaders recognize that cooler, more authentic heads prevail. You’ll see it around you and if you don’t see it – you’re in big trouble. True “power” as a leader will come from knowing who you are and where you stand in your purpose for being a leader. It’s about being that eye in this current storm and the only thing swirling is the myriad of opportunities this climate presents. Here’s just one example.

Right now many businesses and business owners are retreating in their business development and marketing areas. They think, and based on the onslaught of media reports, that people (customers and consumers) are fearful and only focused on the economic crisis – therefore not spending. But we all know that this is cyclical. And consumers still want their families to enjoy the holidays, regardless of what the news reports say. Visit your local Walmart, Target, supermarkets and malls. The parking lots are no less empty, the lines still long. Everyone wants some sense of normalcy in this “crisis”. Those who stop, look for and recognize the opportunities to create something of value, will lead the upturn when the shift occurs.

High Caliber leaders step into the “eye” using the calm to give them access to the possibilities and opportunities others are missing. (Perhaps it’s the sand and dirt from the swirling winds!) Remember that even during the depression, fortunes were being made and the groundwork for future opportunities were being laid. Are you laying your groundwork?

Your key strategy:

Step into the “eye” by taking some time each day to quietly look around you and using a notebook or online document, jot down what you’re observing. Once you begin to look for the opportunities, you’ll see them everywhere. Think RAS – the reticular activation system – this means that if you want to buy a particular brand of car and you start seeing it everywhere. This concept will kick in when you begin to look for opportunities.

Do this for just one week, then on the next weekend, review your notes. What have you observed/learned that would add value to you, your team, organization or business/company?

What would this generate sales revenue, profit or increased marketshare; save in terms of costs, time, and money;?

Select one idea that yields the most benefit and take action on Monday to implement it.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Makell is the founder and President of High Caliber Leadership. She works with leaders to effortlessly transition in their personal and professional careers by co-developing their powerful Leader Transition System™ which accelerates their success. In partnership with corporations, she delivers unique and customized leader transition and development programs.

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