Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Create an Opportunity out of Adversity

Adversity brings the best in human beings. We have seen that happening at many organizations. With less manpower, and reduced financial inputs, leaders are delivering, and accomplishing the set goals. It is quite clear that adversity has converted itself into an opportunity for excellence. Not knowing what we do not know has often been the bane of many a leader. and has resulted in precious man hours being wasted in the pursuits with no logical conclusions, depriving the knowledge area of the precious time for task accomplishment.

How To Be At Your Best When Life Is At Its Worst, 

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” And more often than not , we do it. This most unwelcome character trait is very common to most of us.

By chance we get into a difficult situation, and by choice we create an adversity out of it. Getting panicky, loosing faith in our abilities can often make us perform at levels much lower than our potential.

As Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch  very aptly put it. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”  Bad cards here are the adversities, 'the play' is how you handle the situation. 

Successful leaders look at challenges as valuable teaching moments.

They even convert pain into personal value?

It is important to understand that pain is always a temporary condition and an opportunity to learn. You need to analyse, you need to ask questions like,

“How did I get here?” and “What caused this to happen?"  Curiosity is a better option over self-pity or anger.

Remember overcoming adversities also gives you a great learning experience and this experience can be shared with people in need and friends. 

The next time you’re faced with a particularly brutal challenge, ask yourself what you may learn from it.

Choice is the enemy of fear. When you have choices, you don’t feel trapped by your circumstances. We all have plenty of choices, but the most resilient leaders are masters at reminding themselves of this fact in the face of adversity.

When you are faced with a seemingly horrible situation, start by answering these questions:
What is the outcome I most want?

What other outcomes would be good as well?

What stands in my way from making these outcomes happen?

Who do I know that has overcome similar obstacles to those that stand in my way?

“Some people see the glass as half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” —George Carlin

Important things to know and act accordingly....

Know that you must execute
Know what you cannot do
Know what you can do


Avoid panic in panicky situations.

Ones you cross the stage of saving jobs & graduate to the stage of significant contributor to the bottom lines. you have to evaluate your ROI returns on the efforts put in.

Has the organisation acknowledged your contribution and rewarded you by way of money, position, or higher responsibilities.

Finally after having performed well during adversity. you now have a new attribute of managing well during difficult times.

Many organisations are looking out for people with these talents. At least for self evaluation, have a look around to see if you are being properly rewarded.

Make your organisation aware of your real value through subtle and discreet methods.

Finally remember that professional careers are getting tough and short by the day. You have to carve out a life time earnings and savings out of it.

Best Wishes,


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