One of the uncomfortable realities of life is that we all face adversity. It rarely comes when we are looking for it, we often are not prepared for it, and we are never excited about it. However, how we respond to adversity presents opportunities, but also tests our leadership and character. In short, things will happen, what we choose to do about them is what makes us the person and the leader your stakeholders see you as.
Choosing negative responses to adversity often leads to negative consequences, and they almost always delay resolving the issue(s) creating the adversity. Conversely, choosing positive responses are much more productive, and leads to better,
more timely resolutions.
I encourage you to address adversity in a way that will enable you to make the best of the situation. Let’s call it the “How-When Approach.”
Here are the steps that make up the How-When Approach:
1. Recognize the adverse circumstance.
2. Briefly work through the initial emotional response to the adverse situation.
3. Gather and analyze all the information available to you.
4. Choose HOW you will respond in the most ethical manner.
5. Choose WHEN you need to respond to get the best results.
Executed well, this approach can help any leader resolve difficult situations and gain respect from his or her peers and stakeholders. An important fact about leadership is that people watch behavior and listen to the words of their leader. Keeping that in mind, ethical leaders have the responsibility to choose and deliver responses to adversity wisely. What do you choose?
As always, lead with integrity.