How Do Successful Leaders Spell Survival

Did you know that the same skills used in Survival Situations are the same skills needed for effective Leadership? The U.S. military uses the word SURVIVAL as a pneumonic device to help its troops and leaders remember right actions under fire. Today’s successful leaders and managers can follow the same principles for “Go Wild! Go GREAT!” Visionary Leadership.

S: Size up the situation.

Survivalists know that they need to survey their environment before taking action. Today’s Successful Leaders need to do the same. Unfortunately I have seen too many newly promoted
managers, so anxious to prove their worth , begin immediately making changes before a careful business/organizational analysis. The result: A disruption of customers and employees and often negative consequences to the organization. Always conduct Intel, before offering opinion or direction.

U: Undue haste makes waste:

A companion to the S in Survival with one additional rule pertaining to crisis situations. Did you know that an angry or emotional person’s I.Q. drops 50%? How many leaders can afford to lose that much brain power in their decision making? Rule of thumb: Never make a business decision while in an emotionally charged state and that includes addressing employees when you’re under
pressure or under fire.

R: Remember where you are:

Always check that your decisions and actions are in keeping with your organization’s mission statements, values and key business objectives. Ask yourself on a regular basis. “Is this the best use of my time to accomplish the overall organization mission and strategic objectives?” If the answer is no, re-think the task. It takes discipline for a leader to stay on point and not get lost in the jungle. Remember, the best way to get found in the wilderness is to focus on not getting lost in the first place. Vision and Clear Goals are key.

V: Vanquish fear and panic:

A running animal is a vulnerable animal. Do you know leaders and managers who run around the office making everyone crazy? Do they look like a leader who is cool and calm in a crisis? I think not. Here’s a simple communication rule to improve your leadership credibility rating. People who speak slower and wait 2 to 3 seconds to respond are considered much more credible. Use the
“Power of the Pause to your advantage”. If you find yourself cutting people off in mid-sentence or running around frenetically in response to pressure, both are warning signals to slow down and pause!

I: Improvise:

Are you Solution Oriented or Problem Focused? Today’s Successful leaders recognize they won’t always have the perfect world and so become quickly known as the McGuiver’s in their organization. The question is are you a Go-To or a Run- From Leader? A Go- To leader, presents a solution for every problem presented.. A Run- From leader whines about their lack of resources. You be the judge of which category your organization would put you in.

V: Value living:

I have met the most brilliant people who are unfortunately poor managers because they know little about those around them who make things happen. If you value the life of your employees, they will value their partnership with you.

A: Act like the natives:

Recognize that empathy and finding common ground with customers, employees, colleagues and upper management are the key to your survival. Coming in like a tourist, telling the natives what you do in their country won’t win you points in any camp.

L: Learn something new—–Every day!

Today’s successful leader needs to be an information and learning machine. Stay up on best practices, new consumer trends, competitors and yes, even pop culture. Your adaptability to life’s ever changing conditions is the key to your survival. Ever met someone who talks about the good ole days? Chances are they’re not Leadership Survivors!

© 2007 – 2015, Rosemary Rein. All rights reserved.

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