By: Keith Quattlebaum  |  April 8, 2020

Plan for Adversity

Like many of you, I have experienced and led through many challenges within business and life. Originating my career in the tech world, I helped engineer and build Internet infrastructure as a service provider. I had a front-row seat to the wild speculation of what businesses could and would do with the Internet, then came the rise of the bubble and next, the crash. I’ve been part of making the decisions, who stays and who goes with the restructuring of an acquired organization and then having to lead the teams who remain. I have seen clearly seen a multi-billion dollar client failing to pivot with a major shift in technology, going from the top to closing the doors in less than 2 years! And here we are, 2020 amidst a world crisis, where our communities, families, friends, and businesses are at risk of dying. To echo my last post, I continue to see more of one extreme or the other, complete sanguinity or complete despair. As the owner or a leader within your organization, you cannot allow yourself to live in either of these extremes. 

Work towards and hope for the best but plan for adversity

As a fellow Certified EOS Implementer, Ken DeWitt elaborates in an article, understand The Stockdale Paradox and make sure you are in the correct mindset. You must understand and we teach as EOS Implementers, that as the leadership team goes, so goes the rest of the organization. You will have to make decisions you wish you did not have to face. You must plan for the worst to arise and know ahead of time what you will do for your organization the adversity you envision arises in order to come out stronger on the other side of the COVID-19 recession. 

With all the world spinning around us, let's use our imagination for a minute. Imagine your life and well being balanced in the center of a table. In order to be confident in what you are doing and the decisions you make, that table must remain as sturdy and stable as possible so that you are not preoccupied or having concerns about falling off the table. The four legs of this theoretical table that provides you with a strong foundation to be your best are made up of four pillars of self-care: Sleep, Food, Activity, and Stress. Keep these areas of your life in balance as we wake up every day and circumstances have changed again. The situation we are in is real and it is not going to end tomorrow nor does it appear that it will end any time soon!

Be aware of the facts you know to be true and decide for the greater good of the organization, how you will be able to help more people not just today but after we recommence to some form of normalcy. I personally live in the reality that my wife works in the medical field and although she is not on the front lines she is in and out of the hospital daily. With her experience and expertise, she has been sought after by organizations to travel to and provide relief both internationally and in New York. Talk about a difficult life or business decision that we never anticipated to face as a family. We must all make real and difficult decisions during these times that affect human lives and we cannot merely bury our heads in the sand. 

As Ryan Holiday, states in his book The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage,

“In every situation, life is asking us a question, and our actions are the answer.”

For those of you who have not read it, I highly recommend it especially as to how it relates to your business and where we are in the world today. Ryan brings a fresh view of the well-established intelligence of Stoic philosophy. By looking at the battles faced by verifiable figures, Holiday shows how adversity could not stop them, however more significantly, how these individuals flourished in spite of what appeared to be overwhelming adversity. He also explains how we can transform those obstacles into an advantage, and how we can change what seems to be barriers to progress, both in our organizations and our own lives.

Find someone you trust to discuss your difficult decisions if needed but Take Action Now. I will leave you with two questions and two additional quotes from Ryan’s book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage.

What is your mindset?

What actions have you taken so far and what will you do today?

“Blessings and burdens are not mutually exclusive.” -Ryan Holiday

“True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition. See which lasts longer under the hardest of obstacles.” -Ryan Holiday

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