Overcoming Adversity: A Solid Foundation

Does your organization have a solid foundation for overcoming adversity?

I’ve been writing about steps leaders take in overcoming setbacks and adversity.  A healthy mindset takes the most prudent steps. You don’t have to look far to see leaders regard immediate action – any action – as a step in the right direction. This is dangerous thinking.

Before any action plan is initiated, great leaders establish the proper conditions within the organization. Steadiness in the culture—in the corporate mentality—is essential. I’ve seen this in my coaching practice: as the leader works to improve or enhance their own mindset, they inspire staff – especially management.

This lays the foundation for your leadership initiative to become everyone’s initiative. Ownership (by everyone) and dedication (of everyone) is needed to see things through. The obstacle needs to be removed, and it’s going to take persistence. The roadblock won’t go away by itself, and no one has a magic wand to make it disappear. Only facing it head on will suffice. The effort will not be a sprint but a marathon, so you need to prepare everyone for endurance. Quitting is not an option.

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform disaster of 2011 was a classic example of leadership not following this principle. Responses were stalled, uncoordinated and unaccountable to the public, the government, and the families. A solid foundation of initiative and prudent actions were clearly missing. Trust in BP plummeted, and the poisoning of the environment far exceeded what was considered, up to that point, as tragic.

When you chart a strong course with structured steps for staff to follow, overcoming adversity is more manageable and less stressful. If more leaders would learn this preliminary process, more crises would be overcome as well. This is the meat of an effective setback defeat.

What do you think? When faced with a crisis or setback in your organization, will a solid foundation be in place? I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here and on LinkedIn.

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