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Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It seems that, in the past month, I’ve had a lot of things go wrong.

I’ve had my car recalled for defective air bags, and they didn’t have the parts to fix it, so I had to park it, they said … for several months.  I had my hot water heater go out. To replace the that type of hot water heater, which was special for some reason, would take three weeks. Hmm. I coach a club soccer team, and there is always some type of drama going on.

I’ll stop right there, as you can see that many things have gone wrong in my life over the past month. I have every reason to complain, just as most of us do when we have more responsibilities.

But today, I read this quote from Tony Dungy:

“Things will go wrong at times. Your options are to complain … or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.”

What Leaders Do When Things Go Wrong


My dad always taught me to figure out how to make the situation better and not to worry. It doesn’t really do anyone any good to complain. It may make you feel better, but when you choose to complain, you affect the people around you.

As a leader, I’ve always thought of it as my job to figure out how to make situations better. And, as I mentor future leaders, I coach them to do the same. It’s easy to complain: it’s difficult to find solutions when situations seem at their worst.

The other thing I try to do is be prepared for tough times. Meaning, when I come in to work, I’m prepared to take on challenges. I expect them. My mindset is then ready for them when they come, which is better than waiting on them and then having them blow up my day and give me a negative attitude. That attitude of preparation been a gamechanger for me.

What do you do when things go wrong? How do you look at each day? Are you prepared for challenges? Do you complain or look for ways to make the situation better? By training yourself to stop complaining and prepare for inevitable obstacles, you can become a better leader for your team.


Preston Wickersham is a co-founder of friendsTED. Preston is a premier content marketing expert and ghostwriter. He has produced books, articles, and whitepapers for CEOs and executives in healthcare, technology, marketing, and dozens of other industries. Preston’s clients have been featured in some of the top online publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and the Harvard Business Review. Preston is the owner and founder of Preston Wick Content.

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