I understand where Shakespeare is coming from even though I’m not sure anyone is truly born great. But the last part of that sentence has always caught my attention: some have greatness thrust upon them. Sometimes, a strong leader guides us into new opportunities. Other times, a wise leader guides us through difficult situations. But in each of those cases, the quality and heart of true leadership is forged out of either the crucibles of opportunity or crisis.
As I look back in my own life and weigh in my own leadership style, I am coming to the realization that I am probably a better leader during crisis than I am during the season of opportunity. I’m not sure it’s complacency or content, but I find myself staying too long in the status quo–you know, maintenance mode. But most every major achievement during my professional career has been the byproduct of successfully navigating a crisis situation.
My own business, The A Group, was started due to a failed and fraudulent relationship that forced me to be on my own. Those difficult days gave birth to an amazing business that I’m thankful for and proud of its work. Even the extremely talented team that I work with every day was assembled after a tough season. I entrusted my company to the care of someone who didn’t have my best interest in mind and had to rebuild my team again. Both crises were catalysts for the necessary change that help me move forward.
No matter what type of leadership is natural for you and me, we will never be great leaders until we master the pursuit of opportunities as well as the navigation of crises. To me that means pushing forward more aggressively during the opportunity times.