Tag Archives: Strength

Thoughts for Feb 4th

Lighthouse in the dusk

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
John F. Kennedy

How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success.
Elbert Hubbard

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Leading in Adversity

As a leader how do you respond to adversity?  Throughout history great leaders handled adversity with calm, strength, and daring.  They were there for the people they who looked to them for guidance.  How you respond during a crisis will determine how people will view your effectiveness overall.

To lead well during difficult times:

  1. Be calm
  2. Stand tall and take the lead
  3. Lend a hand to those who are struggling
  4. Reassure people
  5. Take decisive action
  6.  Stay with your followers

When you do these things people will see you as someone who is standing with them and helping them during the difficult times.  Finding ways to improve the situation will help them believe you are there to support them and make things better.  These things take compassion, strength and courage.  It can be easy to run away, hide behind others and to place blame.  These are all signs of weakness in a leader.

Additionally, demonstrating compassion to those who are hit hardest by the adversity will show that you do care about those around you.  This must be sincere and genuine concern and caring.  False words and assurances without action look good in the moment but do nothing in the long run.  The leader who is willing to get down alongside those who need help will end up going the furthest.  People want to be heard and to know that leadership cares about their fate.   This cannot be done from a corner office; it must be done amongst the workers.

For those who are dealing with adversity but are not formal leaders you too can make a lasting mark on those around you.  Be calm, lend a hand, avoid judging, find solutions and focus on the future.  These actions will help you and those around you to respond in a positive way to the problems at hand.  A positive attitude will be hard to sustain but it will help keep things in perspective.   It maybe that the only positive thing you can believe is that eventually it will get better.  If so, start moving that direction.  Others will follow you.

Adversity strikes all of us differently but as leaders we must respond in a way that will instill trust and faith in our team.  Be kind, be sure, be decisive and be there.  This is what your team needs right now.

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Quote for Dec 25th

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa

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A Thought for Thursday

A question to ask ourselves…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May we all be COFFEE!!

This was sent to me by a friend and I had to share it with all of you.  It’s a great story to remind us that we can choose our response to the things that happen in our lives.  So choose wisely!

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Filed under Change Management, Quotes