It has been said that you can learn a lot about the character of a person by how he or she reacts to adversity. The same can be said about leadership. I was talking with a seasoned leader who was on the last days of his tenure with a large organization. It would have been easy for him to lament the unfair treatment and lack of appreciation demonstrated by this corporate mammoth. However, he refused. Instead, he was concerned about the fate of his team members who were experiencing the same corporate slashing in their jobs. He was developing a strategy to help each team member in the best possible way.
When I asked about his own future, he assured me that this event would not define him. He said, "This gives me an opportunity to pursue my passion and life values. It is a bit scary but very exciting at the same time.” He continued, "I'll be fine, but I want to end my time here by helping our team." While many would be concerned with their own future, he chose to finish strong by investing in his team.
How you respond under difficult circumstances defines your character as a leader. I have observed weak leaders who folded under pressure and consequently damaged their ability to lead. Conversely, I have seen strong leaders like the one mentioned above who led with the same integrity in good times and bad.
Choose to walk through the hard valleys of life without losing your character and you will make a difference.