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Leadership Thought #255 – Managing Through Adversity

December 2, 2011

Free Man in Coverall Holding Helmet in Mist Stock Photo

Adversity builds character (whether you like it or not).

2009-2011 has been a difficult period for many people I know and care about.  It’s as if the heavens opened and a terrible storm decided to descend on a vast number of unsuspecting people.  In many cases, the signs may have been there, but none of us expected the difficulty to be so prolonged and discouraging.  They say, “what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.”  I’m not sure I agree with this point of view.  Not every challenge leads to strength; sometimes it just forces us to alter our perspective.  Change doesn’t always mean growth or better.  It often just means different.  In addition, certain wounds don’t always heal as we would like them to, but they heal nonetheless – time will see to this.

Whether your obstacles have been personal or professional or both, I hope that you find the ability to persevere and hold tight to what grounds you.  If the source of your despair is beyond your control and you feel rudderless in a stormy sea, take heart, it too shall pass.  Don’t be too proud to ask for help or show your vulnerability.  We all need a shoulder to lean on occasionally.

One thing is certain: 2012 will be different.   Some of us will experience success beyond our wildest expectations; others will, unfortunately, feel the stings of failure and failure.  Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle.  Don’t let adversity get you too far down or define you in a way that doesn’t suit you.  Regularly solicit feedback from friends and loved ones (and tell yourself) that you are up to any challenge.  The only thing we can control is our actions and how we respond to the events around us.  In dire circumstances, accepting “different” is better than the alternative of clinging to a view of your world that no longer exists.  Life will never revert to what it was. Move forward in your journey even when it’s hard and be open to new beginnings.  Happiness and success will inevitably reappear; sometimes when you least expect it.