Leadership Starts When the Pressure’s On.

It was one of the most important games in history in a sport that is known for it’s passion and turmoil. The stakes were high, as this was the Olympics. Unless you had your head buried in the sand as of late you would know about the controversial soccer game between Canada and the United States where the referee of the game made a rare call that is perceived to have taken the game away from the Canadian team. Now I am not here to make any judgements on the call itself or the players or referee in focus of the now FIFA investigation. I am here to bring to light how easy a passionate situation can get out of hand for all of us if we don’t do our best to keep conditions calm. In this case the comments caught on camera seem to be weighing in at the same amount to the call made by the referee in the game. Even in junior play there have been battles in the heat of the moment between fathers, coaches, and so on. That’s where the trouble begins. I am sure this has happened to all of us, in 25 years of trucking I have seen all kinds of things happen at scales, when given a ticket for something wrong with the truck that doesn’t make sense. What about the height of frustration when people don’t stand behind their products or services?

We have all experienced this at one time or another in as many situations as you can make up. Whether family, friends, or external sources this is time when leadership needs to be forefront and centre. Should you say something to an officer inspecting your truck if you find an incorrect inspection? Yes! Should the Captain or Coach of team in question state their case? Absolutely! It’s how you do it that makes the difference, getting into a screaming match with the person of authority will rarely get you out of the hot seat. As each person gets their back up the situation will deteriorate more and more until a charge is laid that can’t be reversed. Just look at any domestic case to get proof of these types of situations. How many drivers have tried to argue it out at the scales with an officer and found a few more tickets added on to the first one. We have all been there. Heck, I have even lost it one time when I bought a new phone, needed help after the purchase and found the dealer unwilling to help me. I went through their corporate stores, called the software company among others to get nowhere. Now stuck with piece of metal for two years it took two months before I was able to get it working and had nothing but problems for the rest of my contract. Don’t think I didn’t let go on the person I bought it from, that’s pure frustration. Did I exude leadership no way. Had that scenario been on the street I may be in jail. I’ve learned that nothing beneficial comes out of that.

If you find yourself in those types of situations, then realize that keeping calm is the first part of leadership. Once you have done that clearly state your case and make sure notes are taken that you don’t agree with the judgement. Then either fight it in a professional environment through the proper channels, leave it alone, or find some other professional way of dealing with the situation. I have found this to work the best, it may take longer, but it will be more beneficial than letting loose on the scene. In the heat of the battle leadership starts when the pressure’s on.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant in the transportation industry and entrepreneurial markets. For more information on his company and programs please visit his website www.outridge.ca

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