As a leader, how effective are you in overcoming adversity?
Responses to setbacks or crises not only test leadership character, they define it. Your reaction in times of adversity reveals your leadership effectiveness. Some difficulties are devastating, of course, but they are also compounded by leadership responses. There’s no real training for adversity on the leadership ladder, except experience. A leader who doesn’t effectively deal with a trial will succumb to it. The rest of the organization won’t be far behind.
Leaders can prevent this. There are specific methods that can defuse setbacks, allow subsequent crises to be more manageable, and make leaders stronger. Leaders can learn to conquer setbacks by using simple, logical steps to make their way through each difficulty.
Better yet, with the right approach, setbacks can provide advantages that would not have been possible otherwise. Leaders with these skills will weather any storm, regardless of its cause.
From Setback to Success
Ryan Holiday, in his book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumphs (Portfolio/Penguin, 2014), claims that leaders can turn the roadblock they face into a path to success. Ironically, the impediment is a gift.
When a leader is hit with a crisis, fear and anger may be triggered. A leader who remains in this state is paralyzed and derailed. Instead, leaders can view obstacles as self-motivating challenges. They can tap into determination to turn a weakness into a strength. Leaders can view challenges as a test that can be utilized to thrive, not just during a crisis, but in spite of it.
To defeat obstacles leaders can use a three-part weapon system, according to author Holiday.
- A mindset or perception on how to view the situation.
- The motivated action plan on how to address the specific issues.
- An inner drive or will that keeps the mindset and action plan going.
In this series of blog posts, I’ll explore these steps. In the meantime, consider the last crisis or challenge you or your organization faced. How did you respond? Were you able to conquer the setback? I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here and on LinkedIn.