Hacks to Get a Grip on Yourself During Disruption

Ever wonder how to keep your head when everyone around you is losing theirs? You’re not alone.

Regardless of industry, position or role… nothing’s getting easier.  

Customer expectations are growing exponentially, and social media allows a single complaint to burn a brand in a matter of minutes.

On top of that, our workplaces are being disrupted. How we work—and who we work with—is evolving.


So what can we do to keep our cool when this is the new norm?

I have spoken to thousands of leaders in my Courageous Leadership Study, and many tell me they feel like it’s all they can do to keep their heads above water.  

While it may feel like that at times, you actually have more control than you think.  

The great leaders we’ve worked with use three tactics to ensure they do their very best during any disruption:

1. Take a Break & Breathe

You know the feeling you get after a long workout or a run? That, I’m going to pass out if I don’t put my hands above my head and slow down, feeling?  

Navigating constant change can have a similar effect. It leads to mental and physical exhaustion. So, you need to slow down… stop for a moment… and take a breath. These pauses stop you from ‘reacting to the moment’ and help you regain your focus and clarity.

Only you can control your reactions, and show your team how to get strategic in a tactical world.  

2. Remember that Your Behavior is the Model for Your Team

We learned as children that words and actions have power—and they do… especially when those words and actions are coming from someone your team looks to for direction and guidance.  

I once knew a leader who acted like a toddler when things weren’t going his way. In the process, he belittled his team, communicated conflicting goals, and set a poor example. This behavior resulted in others’ modeling those same actions.  

As leaders, we have a responsibility to our teams to be encouraging, motivating, and yes, even challenging. Remember the great Native American saying, “We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.” Choosing your actions wisely allows you to set the right example even at the worst of times.

3. Roll Up Your Sleeves

It may seem contradictory to say you need to take a break and breathe while rolling up your sleeves; trust me, it isn’t.  Believe it or not, getting in the trenches with your team can create an energizing and team-building experience.

Last month, I shared how leaders joined their customer service reps during a major storm. This boosted employee morale and helped employees see that everyone—especially their leaders—were willing to do whatever it took to improve the situation for customers.  

As leaders, we need to know when to be a conductor and when to join the band. During times of change, make sure you are doing your part to dig in and support your team.

I get it: constant change can lead to burnout and makes us want to lie on the floor and bang our fists like a tired toddler. But as leaders, our teams are counting on us to get a grip and keep our heads.

What have you seen great leaders do to keep their grip during disruption?

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