Every Leader Needs To Know How To Reduce Recovery Time

Running a business can be difficult and demanding. The hours can be long and the setbacks can be many. Businesses’ can have many highs and lows and those can happen all in the same day. Every athlete who performs hard must take time to recover after their times of effort. The same can be said of those executives who are left exhausted after giving it their all.

CEO’s and executives’ are called upon to stay fresh, engaged, and ready for the new obstacles and opportunities that they face each new day. One key to building a great business is for the CEO to reduce recovery time after a setback. As a leader, one key secret to learn and apply is how to recover quickly from setbacks, stressful situations, and mistakes. If you can reduce your recovery time you can increase productivity, enhance decision making, and accelerate performance.


1.  Review The Setback for a Select Period of Time.

After a setback or time of energy, the wise executive will determine what really happened in that situation to know what behaviors and actions should be avoided or repeated. This would be a quarterback reviewing the game tape of his performance. It is important to review to improve.

“It is important to review to improve.”

However, CEO’s should put a time limit on how long they will review the situation. A good rule to follow is the bigger the issue or setback the longer the review time.

Leadership Question: Do you have a process to learn from your mistakes and setbacks?

2.  Remember The Vision.

All great companies and CEO’s have had to overcome difficulties. They have had those defining moments when they had to renew the vision for themselves and their company. Part of this renewal process should be in asking two critical questions of yourself and your team.

  1. Why do we exist? Why are we called to do what we are doing?
  2. What if this vision were not completed? What would the world look like if we did not fulfill the call that we supposed to complete?

Leadership Question: What about the vision inspires you to move past your setback?

3.  Take Small First Steps.

The most important step after a setback or failure is the first one. This is where many executives get stuck. They simply get paralyzed and are not sure of the first step to take. They end up being unfocused and ineffective. Part of a great recovery is narrow the focus and determine the essential first step that needs to be taken so as to move the team and the organization forward. Sometimes this first step can take the form of an apology for making the mistake in the first place. Other times it can be in laying out a clear strategy for increased productivity.

Leadership Question: What first step could you take today in an area where you are needing to recover?

4.  Identify Key Metrics for Success.

The last step in true recovery is to make a commitment to key metrics for success and then get to work trying to achieve them. These key metrics have to be completely bought into by the team in order for the team to move forward. These key metrics might be in terms of new revenue to replace lost revenue; action steps to complete a project; or new product development. Here is the point. Do not move back from your recovery time until you have firmly committed to key next steps to be completed.

Leadership Question: What 2 or 3 metrics could you look at to determine if you are succeeding or failing?

For many CEO’s and ‘ this process can take place in one day. I am a firm believer in developing the habit of having recovery days scheduled into the executive’s calendar. In fact, when I work with executives on their recovery day we cover review and renew in the first part of the day and reduce and resolve in the second half of the day. Many executives find a recovery day as a way to enhance their ability to recover quickly so as to advance their ability to get back on track and keep the company moving towards.

To read what else “Great CEO’s” do click here.

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