Monday Morning Minute 2-6-2012

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The American author and sportswriter, Haywood Hale Broun, once said “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” This quote and its sister “Adversity doesn’t build character. It reveals it” are quotes that warrant our attention on this first day of the week.

In almost every endeavor we undertake, we will experience adversity. We will work with people who don’t have the same level of commitment, passion, or possibly even care about our customers or our results. We will be told our resources are being cut, our timeline has been shortened, and that the scope of our work has changed.

In these situations an all important question is – how do you respond as a leader? Do you remain grounded and look at the adversity as a challenge and opportunity? Or, do you lose your footing and get angry that yet again someone has done something they shouldn’t have?

It is in these moments of adversity that our character is on display for all to see. Employees watch us to see how to respond; customers watch to see if we care about them and want to help; and, probably most importantly, we’ll watch ourselves to see if that which we’ve read in our leadership development books and articles has taken root and is showing up in our behavior.

In order for us to grow as leaders and to handle whatever adversity comes our way, we have to learn the following three strategies for handling adversity.

1. Resolve to take meaningful and intentional action to eliminate the challenge and produce a positive outcome
2. Resign yourself to the situation remaining the same – and do so without being a victim
3. Remove yourself from the situation

Which strategy do you use most often? Is there another strategy that might be beneficial?

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