5 steps to overcome adversity

5 Steps to Overcome Adversity and Thrive in the New Year

Wow-what a year this has been. For many leaders, adversity doesn’t begin to describe the challenges you’ve faced. And – we’ve been so inspired by the ways you have responded and risen to the occasion to overcome adversity.

If 2020 has left you reeling, we want to encourage you with hope.

Recently, I interviewed someone who knows adversity well. Jason Redman is a retired Navy Seal who was shot several times and severely wounded when he and his team found themselves in an ambush. Following that ambush and a business failure, Jason became a student of resiliency and how to overcome adversity.

Whether the pandemic slammed your business or you face some other monumental, unexpected setback, you have to find a way to move beyond anger, guilt, emptiness, or pain. It’s not only possible to overcome adversity, but it’s imperative. In the full interview, Jason shared a five-step REACT process that gives you the tools to accept your circumstance, choose action over inaction, and triumph over adversity.

REACT Method to Overcome Adversity

R: Recognize – that you’re in a crisis.

Name it. It’s too easy to keep pushing or live in denial of the crisis. Stop, and acknowledge reality so that you can deal with it.

E: Evaluate – your assets and position.

What tools do you have in your toolbox to help with this problem? And remember your team here – you don’t need all the answers. Bring your team together and ask the right questions to help them contribute answers.

A: Assess – your option and outcomes.

Pause. Take a beat. With the time you have, breathe and consider your options and the possible consequences of each. Don’t rush to action without this pause.

C: Choose – a direction and communicate it.

When you commit to a course of action and use that 5×5 communication to ensure your team knows the direction, you will boost morale and energy (yours and your team’s).

T: Take action – follow-through.

It’s time to act. Movement builds momentum. You decided with the best information you had available. Get moving!

You can listen to the full interview here:

Take Care

Redman’s REACT process doesn’t mean you should ignore your emotions.

Some of the challenges life gives us are incredibly difficult, and you need to allow your grief, frustration, anger, and sadness to do their work. Maybe at the moment, you use REACT to get through the immediate crisis, but be aware that you will need to take care of your whole self and process the emotions of those challenges.

Do what you need to take care of yourself.

Your Turn

We’d love to hear from you: when you’re faced with those unexpected crises, what is your best strategy to overcome adversity, restore your confidence, and build momentum?

 

7 Career Frustrations Every Go-Getter Feels

Odds are that some executive in your life is making it all look easy. The quick rise to the top. In perfect shape, with the the perfect family all dressed cleanly in the company colors at the company picnic.  The exec’s declaration that he’s “never missed one of his kids games” leaves you stunned.

You look at your hectic life, the challenges, the tradeoffs, the disappointments, the times you let your family down staying late again.

All for a career that led to this pivotal moment of deep frustration.

We all have them. Those moments of true career angst, when we wonder… is it worth it?

It’s easy to feel you’re doing something wrong.

Don’t buy it.

Those other guys have been there too.

I promise.

I hear their stories.

I know mine.

7 Frustrations Every Go-Getter Feels

1.  I worked my butt off, and that guy (or gal) got the promotion for reasons that have nothing to do with competence.
Maybe that’s true. Maybe she really is more qualified. Either way, the sting is real.
2.  My team killed themselves on this project, and now a strategic change in direction means most of that work is wasted.
You’re so frustrated you want to punch your fist through the wall, but you’ve got to put on your game face and convince the team their work really was important, even if it’s for what we learned along the way. Deep inside having to do that just ticks you off more.
3. No one that matters is really listening to me.
You’ve got a GREAT idea and you know it will change the game. But, it’s a little risky and your boss, mentors, and sponsors are all ducking. You can’t get your voice heard.
4. I don’t know where I stand.
You keep being told you’re on the short list for advancement, but you’re still in this job. When you ask what’s wrong, you get nothing but praise. You know something’s being said behind closed doors, but you can’t figure out just what that is.
5. A peer I trusted stabbed me in the back.
You can’t believe it, and your first thought is revenge. But you’re better than that so you take the high road– which is right, but is missing the catharsis slipping some laxatives into his coffee would provide.
6. I got screwed in the restructure.
The regime changed and the musical chairs landed you in a less than ideal scene. You’re sure politics trumped logic. Your friends tell you to be grateful that you have a job. You’re not so sure.
7. ________________ (your turn).
People are watching for your response.

Responding elegantly in these scenes may be the most important career move you can make.

What those who make it look easy may not be telling you is that they’ve been there too. We all have. It’s all part of the leadership journey. They’ve grown through the pain, and you can too.

If you’re feeling at a particularly blessed moment in your career. Amen. Look around. Who needs some extra care and support?

How Not to Screw Up When You’ve Been Screwed Over

When I heard his story, I wanted to scream with him and for him. But screaming at water under the bridge just brings more rapids. I paused for what was an uncomfortably long time. Then, I whispered, “I know this hurts. But you have to stop. Kick and scream and get it all out, and then take a deep breath and take off on the high road.”

It’s true that John didn’t deserve this. Passionately devoted to the company mission, he’d invested years of hard work and extra hours. His team teased that he bled the company colors. There’s no other way to say this. He’d been screwed. The details don’t matter. You can fill them in with your own history or imagination.  What matters now is what he does next.

5 Ways to Respond When You’ve Been Screwed Over

The truth is everyone is watching your reaction. Chances are most folks know that what just happened wasn’t fair.  Handling this disappointment elegantly will foster deep respect.

1. Stop Talking

Not to everybody–but chose your words and your audiences carefully. Your angry words will travel faster and farther than you ever thought possible.

2. Don’t Be a Blamer

Accusations make terrible leadership apparel.

3. Don’t Give Up

If you fold your tent, the bad guys really win. Stay committed to the cause and to your career.

4.  Channel Your Energy to Create Something Extraordinary

You’re fired up. Use that powerful emotional energy to fuel your creativity and your next stand-out move.

5. Let Your Anger Inform Your Leadership

When the time is right, step back and assess what really happened here. Make a vow to yourself to never screw over anyone in the way you’ve been screwed.

This is more than lemons and lemonade. Your team is watching. Your brand is at stake. Respond as the leader you are.