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Identifying and Overcoming Business Challenges

Leadership is a lot like golf when it comes to challenges. You probably already know most of the dangers, and identifying potential problems is important to how you play the course. However, what matters even more is how you handle things if and when you get into trouble.

 

Using Your Resources

 

Golf courses have hazard maps on their scorecards. Some even have apps that do everything from positioning you on the course to giving you a contour map of the green.

 

Similarly, your industry probably has a well-defined set of risks. There are also some resources available to help you avoid issues. You've probably even done SWOT exercises with your team. There's one question that none of these resources or techniques answer: How do you deal with it when you're faced with the challenges you didn’t map out?

 

Overcoming Unavoidable Challenges

 

Using information to avoid trouble is smart. Knowing how to get out of trouble is a mark of true genius as a leader. You have to be able to figure out the best use for the tools you have regardless of the situation.

 

You're probably going to find yourself in a hazard sooner or later out on the course. It's the same with leadership. It takes more than knowing what you're facing to become great. You also have to develop confidence in yourself and perspective on your challenges.

 

Developing Your Confidence

 

Confidence comes from two things: practice and experience. Practice is developing your skills in a controlled setting. You do it on the driving range, or when you rehearse presentations in front of a mirror.

 

Experience is when you put that practice to work under pressure. You get golf experience with every stroke you make, and you get leadership experience with every interaction you have with your team. Put these two things together, and you start to build up confidence that your skills are going to work regardless of the challenges you face.

 

Establishing New Perspectives

 

Once you know what you're capable of, you can use all of those skills and attributes to get yourself out of the trouble you'll inevitably get yourself into. Unless every shot you make is a hole in one, chances are that you're going to find yourself in a hazard. Do you attempt the shot? Do you take a penalty? For that decision, you need a greater perspective.

 

The next time you're in a tough corner, look at the situation from every angle. Ask yourself whether you have an opportunity to advance your position. At the very least, you can use the challenge as a lesson to inform your path forward.

 

Inspiring Everyone's Success

 

Leadership isn't about being perfect — it's about how you use perspective to enhance your experiences and increase the confidence of everyone around you. When your team members see you get them out of a tough spot with a creative solution, you've automatically won a big victory.

Phil Gafka