These three things initiate the Downward Spiral that leaders can find themselves in:
1. Personal: “I’m no good; why did I think I could _______?” Dr Cloud tells a story to illustrate that although we all make mistakes, those of us who are naive, oblivious or cheerful enough will survive these critical times by refusing to take our failings personally.
2. Pervasive: An issue spreads broadly and appears much larger than it really is. “It’s not one person, it’s all of them; they all think that. Everything has gone bad. My whole life sucks.”
3. Permanent: “It will always be this way. This isn’t going to change.” Another lie.
Even the best performers can find themselves spiralling. Our brains change, something switches, and so it begins. Do you need to eliminate any of these three errors of thought?
Adapted from the “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader” talk by Dr. Henry Cloud at the Global Leadership Summit 2013. Part 3.