Time Crisis Dilation

I regularly keep in touch with tech leaders globally as part of my work. That means that there are many people that I only talk to every six months or even less often. When we catch up, I often remind them about whatever crisis they were handling back then. Do you know what many say? “Oh, that! I forgot about it.” That’s good, but how do we leverage this phenomenon?

I bet you can come up with some of those yourself. What was the big crisis du jour six months ago? A year ago? A key employee decided to leave. You were having scaling issues with a part of the product. A new competitor was announced. How many things that seemed like a huge issue are now tiny blips in the rearview mirror? As I already stated, it is excellent that virtually all crises end up being something that we overcome and move past. The question is, what does that mean to you as a leader in your day-to-day work?

This Too Shall Pass

I know how tech leadership roles can feel like a never-ending marathon. There is continuously a new thing that worries you or seems to loom over the company’s future. Obviously, you will still have to tackle whatever hardship your team faces. The good news is that you can learn from the past and lighten your burden.

We just learned in our quick retrospection that you have been through your fair share of minor calamities and have survived them. That is evidence that whatever is currently worrying you is likely to seem insignificant in a few months. Equipped with this understanding, you can allow yourself to view things in proportion. As I’m writing this, a global pandemic seems to have become a minor issue, whereas inflation and the state of the market have taken its place as the current harbinger of doom.

I do not mean to belittle those global crises or your current problems at all. I just want more people to realize that you will persevere and probably even emerge stronger, no matter how grave things seem.

What Doesn’t Kill You…

… makes you stronger, per Nietzsche. I am not some stoic guru. However, I believe more leaders would do better if they accepted how things are never perfect but that those hardships toughen us up and eventually form what you refer to as your experience. If things were never challenging, you would never grow.

Given that you are still here reading this, you are actively growing. Today’s challenge is merely your current progressive-overload workout for your leadership muscles. Keep calm and carry on.