Managing adversity is one of those less discussed topics, especially when it comes to those leading others.  

Often, we forget leaders are not superheroes. While leaders habitually provide extraordinary advice and coaching, they are not immune to kryptonite. 

I’m here to tell you, leaders are human and have problems much like those they lead. The noticeable difference between a leader and the person being led; the person being led is unaware of their leader’s problem(s). Why, because most leaders rarely share personal problems with their subordinates. 

Trust me. At some point- you will experience adversity in your life.  

I’m not talking about disappointment or setbacks. I’m talking about an event that causes you to question your ability to perform and, in some cases, function as a person. I’m talking about a life-changing event. I’m talking about an event that possibly confronts your values, morals, and credibility. That’s the kind of adversity I’m talking about.   

If you’ve experienced adversity such as this, I’m sure you can relate. If you haven’t- this article is mostly for you.  

Adversity is part of life. Adversity is not about being knocked down and getting up. It’s about being stronger when you get up. Life, just like leading others, is a contact sport. Getting hit is part of the game.   

However, here’s the beauty of adversity. Adversity is like water to a flower and oxygen for a fire. The more it gets, the more you grow.  It’s through adversity, others see your true character and resiliency. Adversity also puts life into perspective and prepares you for future endeavors. Lastly, adversity exposes your true friends; those willing to champion you during hard times.  

So, the question remains, how do YOU deal with adversity? For me: First, having a strong support base was key. There were a few individuals I had candid conversations with. They reframed from passing judgment on me or the situation.  Second, reflecting on the event helped me grow. I reflected VERSES dwelled on the event. There’s a difference. Basically, I conducted an after-action review to see how I could improve and grow after the adversity. Lastly, having a personal relationship with my creator was critical. This kept me sane and provided clarity. Honestly, this served me better than the first two.  

 Hope this helps you grow as a leader.  Remember, lead well and develop others along the way.

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