4 Strategies for Leading a Totally Overwhelmed Team

“Help!”

That was the subject line of an email I received recently from Lisa, the marketing director for a large healthcare system. Because she and her team were overworked and overwhelmed, Lisa was struggling to be an effective leader.

Every day, Lisa would find that numerous urgent priorities would pop up, sucking time away from what she felt was her most important mission: thinking strategically and motivating her team.

“How can I carve time out of a ‘normal’ workday to put on my leadership hat, when my team and I have a tremendous workload and there are so many daily, tactical issues that need to be addressed?” Lisa wanted to know. “How do other leaders do it?”

She asked a great question, and in reply, here are four pieces of advice from three executives on how to get out of the weeds, take the lead, and keep your team motivated and engaged even in the worst of times. Hint: Most of these things don’t take much time at all.

  1. Take a Stand for Your Team

Early in her career, Liz Brenner, vice president of marketing employee engagement at SAP, received a crash course in how not to engage employees when a leader threw her under the bus in order to deflect responsibility away from himself.

Something had gone seriously wrong, and the senior executive pinned the blame on Brenner, who was a junior employee at the time.

In this highly charged, stressful situation, Brenner learned one of her greatest leadership lessons when her manager stood up to the bully exec on her behalf.

Read my entire article for The Muse.

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Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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