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Getting Back to the Future

“The well-planned journey back is often the high road to a brighter future” 

As we begin to think through life post-COVID-19, many options appear before us. As daunting as our present situation may seem, the possibilities for improvement and growth are endless. Corporately speaking, COVID-19 isn’t a showstopper; it’s a game-changer. Many plans put on hold, economic complications, promising projects, and outstanding visions delayed.

Getting Back to the Future

Some may ask, how can we recover? How do we get back on track? In all storms of life, we find two types of people, those who rise to meet the challenges ahead and move forward and those who fail to so. What do those who rise to meet the challenges have that others don’t? The answer is resiliency.

The Power of Resilience

One definition from Merriam-Webster defines resilience as:

“An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” We have all experienced a measure of misfortune and change.

The power of resilience allows people to withstand or adjust to all kinds of challenges, setbacks, and misfortune. It is this resiliency that enables leaders to bounce back from those challenges, delays, and adversity that makes the difference between going forward or going under.

Many organizations seem to recover from various setbacks time after time. Many within their ranks feel the tension of being stretched to the breaking point; being resilient, they always find a way to bounce back and go forward.

The American Psychological Association writing on“ building your resilience” says, “We all face trauma, adversity and other stresses. Here’s a roadmap for adapting to life-changing situations and emerging even stronger than before.”

Prioritize Relationships 

Connecting with empathetic and understanding people can remind you that you’re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Focus on finding trustworthy and compassionate individuals who validate your feelings, which will support the skill of resilience…

  1. Keep things in perspective

  2. Accept change

  3. Maintain a hopeful outlook

  4. Learn from your past”(to read entire article)(1)

Rubber Bands and The Power of Resilience

“Rubber bands can hold things together or propel objects forward.”

The rubber band can teach us something about having resilience in difficult times. When in a crisis, leaders must know how to keep their people together to focus on solutions, not problems. Solutions propel organizations forward. The Law of The Rubber Band states that “Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be.” We must get going to keep growing.

From Slowing to Growing

“Your setback is just a setup for your comeback.”
– Steve Harvey

Growth comes from recognizing growth opportunities; the best opportunities are often found hidden within failures and setbacks. When you, as a leader, begin searching for ways to learn, you position yourself for personal growth. Drawing lessons from previous mistakes, be they missed signals or poor decisions, allows you to learn something about yourself from each experience.

Inviting your people to join you on the journey of reflective learning is culturally empowering. Revisiting and fine-tuning your vision renews commitment, refocuses collaborative efforts, and inspires creative thinking.

Committing yourself to a lifestyle of learning is self-empowering, teaching your people to do the same is contagious. Developing a culture of personal growth in good times and challenging times always builds momentum.

From Stranded to Catching the Wind

In ancient times seasoned mariners knew something about catching the wind and how to move forward without it. When sailing, the wind is your friend because it helps you gain momentum. Without the wind, ancient mariners kept their sails up, rolled up their sleeves and used their oars, although their sails were slack while rowing, they remain in a position to catch the wind when it began blowing again, either way, they had momentum.

In business, you need to be prepared and be creative because momentum is a game-changer. Your organization can create its own momentum, that’s the beauty of resilience. John Maxwell says,“ momentum is a leader’s best friend,” he states seven facts about momentum:

Fact #1 – Momentum is the Great Exaggerator. When things are going well, momentum makes them even better

Fact #2 – Momentum Makes Leaders Look Better than They Are.  When you’re winning, people are willing to overlook your shortcomings and forget about your past mistakes. The present and future are what matters.

Fact #3 – Momentum Helps Followers Perform Better than They Are.  When you’ve got momentum, everyone is excited and motivated. As a result, the team plays better than expectations.

Fact #4 – Momentum is More Natural to Steer than to Start. An intrinsic part of the Law of Big Mo is that it’s hard to get going, but once you’re moving, you can control where it takes you.

Fact #5 – Momentum is the Most Potent Change Agent. With enough momentum, any change is possible. People trust leaders with a proven track record and are willing to get on board with your vision once they see that you’re taking them in a positive direction.

Fact #6 – Momentum is the Leader’s Responsibility. Creating momentum requires a firm goal, a good team, and motivation, all of which the leader must establish. It is your responsibility to initiate momentum and keep it going strong.

Fact #7 – Momentum Begins Inside the Leader. 

The Law of momentum starts with a vision that you must believe in. When you do, that belief becomes contagious.(2)

Maxwell also states, “Life has no shortage of difficulties, but the good news is that no matter how difficult things may get, you can bounce back. That’s the beauty of resilience. No matter how many setbacks you’ve faced in your life, it’s never too late to cultivate resilience. You too can grow to become a “rubber-band person,” someone who bounces back from setbacks every time.”

“A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons.” 
– Richard Branson

(1)The APA Building Resilience

(2)The Law of the Big Mo – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell


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