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The Leadership Quest Blog

6 Strategies for Turning Adversity into Opportunity

June 30, 2014

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The definition of adversity is: A state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune. Adversity can bring out the best in organizations and individuals; they can also bring out the worst. The following are six strategies that can help guide adversity into opportunity.

For each strategy I have listed a few questions for you to reflect on:

1) Broaden the Context
• What is the bigger picture here?
• What can we do to frame what is happening and being done about it in ways that give people hope?

2) Defy the Verdict
• What is truth, what is rumor?
• What are we clear and unclear about?
• Where's the silver lining?

3) Fully Commit To What's Important
• What important shared values and beliefs can we emphasize to keep people engaged?
• Who's counting on us?
• What's the larger purpose?

4) Take Charge of Change
• What decisions and actions do you control?
• What little things can you do to get moving forward?

5) Engage Others
• How can I connect people with one another on the project?
• How can we strengthen the sense that we are in this together?

6) Show You Care
•    What can I do to recognize the positive contributions that are being made?
•    How can I keep myself and others enthused about the difficult work we are doing?
•    How can I share the sacrifices that people may be, or are being, called on to make?

As leaders we have a responsibility to make sure we create a climate and culture where people cannot just survive but thrive when faced with change and adversity. The questions listed above are just a few you should ask yourself as you follow the six steps of turning adversity into opportunity.

Do you have questions about turning adversity into opportunity? Email me:

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