We just completed a 3.5 month sprint of acquiring a 25,000 square foot historic school building that will be the new home of The Conflux and goBRANDgo!. When I say sprint…what would normally be a 12-18 month process was crammed into one quarter. Moving with that speed enabled us to get a great price on the building.


All real estate transactions have complications and challenges, but all the fast-moving parts of the timetable, historic nature of the building, economic development incentive programs, market-testing the concept, and a SBA 504 Loan, created quite the rollercoaster. 24 hours before the deadline to close, we still weren’t sure if the financing would be ready to close or not.


Throughout the whole process, there were several time sensitive deadlines that had to be hit, no questions asked…or the whole deal could fall apart and we would lose all of our earnest money and fees.


As the pressure and intensity ramped up, I found myself getting into a high level of command and control, less willing to delegate anything that needed to be completed. Now that we’ve dragged ourselves across the finish line (of this part of the race at least), I’m finding myself reflecting upon why this was the case.


Was it because there wasn’t enough time to explain the intricate details required to delegate?

Was it because I just got into the tunnel vision of GSD (Get Sh!t Done) mode?

Was it because I wanted to maintain complete and total control because I don’t think anyone could do it as well as I could?

Was it because my ego wanted to be the hero in overcoming the adversity of conquering a seemingly insurmountable mountain?

Was it because it was the right thing to do due to the fluidity of the situation required real-time, instinctual decisions and I was the only one with the background and knowledge?

Was it because it was the right thing to do as it was not necessarily robbing anyone on my team to learn and grow since this was a one-off situation and won’t be repeated any time soon?

…or likely some combination of all of these?


Having the awareness of my default state when under a lot of stress will really help me going forward when I feel that command and control mode setting in. By recognizing that mode setting in, I will be able to pause for a moment, and ask myself the questions above.


Different situations require different leadership styles at different times. The key is to be aware of what mode I am in, and what mode would be best to achieve the desired outcome–both short and long term.


What is your default leadership stress mode?

What feelings and actions are indicators you’ve entered in that mode?

What are the scenarios when that is/isn’t the right approach?

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