The way you deal with today’s frustration reflects the leader you’ll become tomorrow.
Frustration is an alarm clock;
a spotlight pointing:
a match burned too long.
Frustration is a gift that says pay attention.
Don’t get frustrated with frustration. Frustration is feedback on decisions and relationships.
The singular message of frustration is change.
- Usually, it’s you.
- Sometimes, it’s others.
- Perhaps it’s processes and procedures.
Frustrations that return want attention like neglected children.
Ignoring frustration makes frustration mad.
Successful leaders choose responses. Weak leaders react.
Choose who to be:
- Welcoming. Open up don’t close down. “Come in, let’s talk.”
- Calm. Cool down don’t heat up. Nothing says confidence more than calmness during frustration.
- Able. Assume a do-something posture.
Bonus: Optimistic. Express optimism while acknowledging realities.
Choose what to do:
- Acknowledge don’t ignore. “That’s frustrating,” is better than, “It’s not that bad.”
- Run toward not away. Deal with it now or you’ll deal with it later. Curiosity coupled with courage expands leadership.
- Stay focused not distracted. Frustrations that distract from the big picture grow larger than they are.
Bonus: Involve others don’t act alone. “What can ‘we’ do,” is better than, “What can ‘I’ do.”
- Frustration in one area tends to bleed into others.
- Don’t let short-term frustrations make long-term decisions.
- Frustration’s biggest danger is it’s ability to create imbalance.
Rudyard Kipling wrote:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it …
How do you deal with frustration?