The Pivotal Leader: 3 Ways to Pivot When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way

Last winter, my world turned upside down.

A health issue I battled reared its ugly head. This illness caused financial burdens and negatively impacted my marriage, my relationships and my life. 

There was no area of my life my condition hadn’t touched. I felt like my world was crashing down around me, and all I could do was cower in the corner and cry out to God. 

What is happening?

Why is this happening to me?

How will I ever return to normal?

The sobering answer I received: there was no returning to normal. This was my new normal.

Perhaps you can relate. With the surprise onset of a pandemic, all of our worlds came crashing down. We have all had to adapt to a new normal. As leaders, it is crucial in the moments when life has taken an unsuspecting turn to pivot.

 By definition, a pivot is to “the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates.” Basketball players pivot when the opposing team outmaneuvers them. A political figure pivots to make another point when they want to dodge an uncomfortable question. 

In the same way, leaders need to understand and execute the art of the pivot whenever life throws them a curveball. 

But how does a leader pivot when life hasn’t gone as planned?


I know this sounds simplistic, but asking God how to handle life’s challenges is perhaps the best weapon you can use when life comes crashing down around you. In your darkest moments, all you can do is cry out to Jesus.

Sometimes simply uttering the name of Jesus can be the most important word you can say during your time of need.

Often God is asking us to surrender control and yield our lives to His will. You may be surprised to find God meets you in miraculous ways.

Seek help

There is no shame in asking for help. Moses needed help from his friends when he was at the height of battle. Exodus 17:11-12 said, “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” 

Life is so much more difficult when we isolate ourselves from other people in our community. Amid my health concerns, my local church members flooded my family with cards, flowers, and other gifts to demonstrate their love and support.

Who can you lean on for help when your life is at its darkest? 


One of the verses I clung to in my time of need was Exodus 14:13-14: Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

It appears counterintuitive to do nothing during a crisis, but when we lay down our weapons, God does His best work.

While the world yells, “work harder; do more,” God says “Let go. Come to me.” Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to do nothing. 

Are you at a pivotal time in your life as a leader?

What do you need to do to change course when the enemy is outmaneuvering you?

Who can you call on for help when you are tired of fighting the battle? 

Don’t succumb to the pressure of a crisis. Pivot instead.

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