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Learning through adversity.

With only a matter of weeks remaining as we near the end of this year 2020, a year that has challenged us all in some capacity be it personal or professional, I wanted to recap on the previous articles and finish up this series with the video below.

Episode 1 - Where are leaders now?

In episode 1 "Re-evaluate & Reposition Now" we explored the difficulties that leaders were facing while steering their teams through the unchartered waters we found ourselves earlier in the year. Merely existing and focusing on simply surviving would limit the potential to come out of this period better than when we headed into it. A leader’s intention is what will drive the attention of a team.

I covered briefly topics around “Always Be Learning”, “Leveraging the Collective Leadership Brain” and “Going Beyond the Survival State”. The episode ended with some provocative questions for leaders and their teams around the importance of making time for purposeful reflection that allows for a reimagining of the status quo and to broaden horizons.

Episode 2 - Sustaining yourself and your team

In the second episode I discussed “Purpose generated Performance,” and knowing how to deliver high-performance in our individual and collective roles as a team and organisation. Plans get altered but acknowledging that it is the people that need to adapt to change, this is central to delivering on the goals we aim to achieve.

In order for employees to deliver their best performance for an organisation, the organisation must acknowledge that holistic well-being matters. Consistency in performance is derived from renewing the sources that underpin our well-being, our mental, emotional and physical energy systems. I delved into these energy systems in some detail while ending again on thought provoking questions.

Episode 3 - Learning through adversity

I conclude the Uppercut Series with this video on adversity. Here I discuss how challenges can create incredible opportunities for leaders and leadership teams to learn and grow in these unprecedented times. I propose that this past year has opened up the opportunity for organisations to deeply evaluate how leaders and teams can be better both personally and collectively, and work together to create valuable legacies for future teams to follow and build on.

We have all had our resilience tested to the core over this time, some at a deeper level than others. Psychological resilience refers to our capacity to respond quickly and productively to the adversity we are faced with, this is important whether we are responding as individuals or as a team. Adversity is a core ingredient of realising our goals and while not often welcomed it acts as a catalyst for solving problems, navigating obstacles and going beyond the learning we had yesterday. When organisations are faced with adversity the leader’s perspective on the problem is key as it sets the tone and shapes the perspectives of the wider team to follow.

In the book Meditations a series of personal writings by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius the following quote should be of interest;

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

In his book The Obstacle is the Way author Ryan Holiday argues that obstacles don’t inhibit success, they create success and that readers should see “through the negative, past the underside, and into its corollary: the positive.”

I hope you found these articles of interest.

For myself I’ve found this time has nudged me into reviewing how I look at what is right in front of me. I speak here to both work and family life. What I have landed on is that the common thread between both is connection. We are social creatures, we are designed to work together, support each other and care for one and other. This is universal and no different at home or in the workplace. Teams thrive on close connection, unity of purpose and clear direction.

The strongest leaders embrace adversity. They bring their organisations and teams to new levels of performance when their intention drives their attention, they seek new opportunities and they remain united, resolute and clear despite the challenges they may be surrounded with.

The human spirit will continue to ignite under the most difficult of circumstances if it’s given the care, space and nurture it needs.

Gary Keegan

CEO Uppercut


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