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It’s easy to be a leader when everything is going well. In any walk of life, success is easier to enjoy than difficulties are to navigate. The head football coach will always have an easier time lifting the championship trophy than he will explaining a winless season. The business owner will always handle a profitable quarter better than he or she will deal with locking the doors. Doctors fear losing patients exponentially more than they do successful procedures. Being a great leader doesn’t merely revolve around how one handles the good times. The test of a true leader is how they deal with times of difficulty. Here’s some tips for leading in times of trial.

1-Find a Way to Learn
Every day cannot be a win in any walk of life. Victories come, but they’re often staggered around one or more defeats. One test of an effective leader is how well he or she manages to take the lessons from the losses and ensure that they don’t become repeated mistakes. It’s easy to lose sight of in the moment, but it’s entirely possible to produce personal growth from times of great pain.

2-Altering Your Future
It’s often said that yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn’t come, so all we can deal with is today. While that’s true to a certain extent, great leaders know the impact of taking lessons learned in both the past and the present to alter future behaviors. If your response is directly connected to several of the outcomes in your life, the lessons that you learn in failure can modify your behavior and positively alter your future if you allow them to do so.

3-Don’t Be Afraid of Humor
What’s so funny about failure?! Well…nothing really. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the best of a bad situation. Great leaders don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s not about a carefree attitude, but the willingness to not let trying times defeat you. People don’t want to follow a leader who endlessly wallows in times of failure. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, put on a smile, and move on to better days.

Times can be trying. The thing that differentiates a great leader from a subpar one is how that leader continues to excel even when things are less than ideal.