Sometimes leadership feels like taking medicine (and not that tasty pink stuff that I had as a kid). Those entrusted to your care aren't listening, the results aren't there, and in general things just are not going well. For those of us responsible for leading other people (read: all of us are included in this to some degree), we either have experienced moments like these or we will experience them - but none of us escape.
So when we're in the doldrums of leadership, what's our next move? As leaders we are, by nature, leading in the front - so the onus is on us to act.
1. Ask good questions. Listen to the feedback of others, especially those critical of you. If you're a mom, ask your kids what is going on. If you're a coach, talk to your players. You don't have to necessarily agree with the feedback, but a humble posture of listening is a good start.
2. Look back to the mission. Why are you in leadership to begin with? To serve other people? To honor God? To provide for your family? Make sure you are staying true to your mission, because sometimes even when on the course of acting out our mission it will feel like something is wrong when it isn't. There are times when things are hard and aren't going well just because that's part of the process.
3. Pray. When Moses was leading the Israelites out of bondage, they constantly questioned him (and thus God) and grumbled. Moses was doing exactly what God called him to do, yet his people were about ready to stone him. Moses prayed a fantastic prayer: "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." Moses simply admitted he didn't know how to proceed and asked God for wisdom. That is not shot in the dark, but rather a wise move that God honors.
So fear not, fearless astronaut/CEO/janitor/mom/mechanic, leading other messy humans will be hard at times. Ask good questions, consider your mission, and pray for wisdom. Then press on.