Grateful For Learning From Adversity

2020 has certainly had challenges.

But it won’t keep me from sharing with you my tradition of reflecting on Three Questions about the past year and asking you to do the same.

  1.      What are you most grateful for?
  2.      Please share what was the highlight of your year?
  3.      Do you have any wisdom you would pass on to the next generation from a life lesson this year?

This blog addresses the first question of gratitude.

Despite the covid-19 pandemic and all the associated difficulties it brought with it, there are many things I’m grateful for. The most prominent is the chance to learn from adversity.

When all of my speaking engagements were canceled because of the shutdown of in-person meetings, my speaking and coaching business went completely online. Out of necessity, I learned more about technology, running engaging virtual training, and using breakout rooms in zoom.

I’m grateful my business has survived and I’m now more tech-savvy than I was a year ago.

I’m also grateful for each of the leaders in my newly released book How Did My Family Get In My Office!?  Each of their stories is a testament of how each of us can grow from difficult experiences and not let our past define us.

Having been raised with an alcoholic father, June from chapter three is one of the eleven real-life stories of someone who grew up with adversity. Later in life she recognized she was using alcohol to numb the emotional pain from her upbringing. Through Alcoholics Anonymous, she became sober and actively worked on her recovery.

But June’s story doesn’t end there.

Even after a few years of sobriety, she still had some rough edges to her leadership style. Her boss wanted to promote her. He told her with both kindness and truth that her overly aggressive tendencies as a leader were getting in her way of receiving the promotion.

Instead of becoming defensive and blaming others, June was willing to develop the necessary people skills to tone down her reaction when things didn’t go her way. 

She attended a leadership development training and through her willingness to grow, she recognized how events from her upbringing were still driving her behavior.

She made the conscious choice to face what was driving her angry outbursts and transformed her leadership style from abrasive to staying calm and level-headed when faced with challenges.

June not only got the promotion, today, over twenty years later, she continues to be sober and an inspiring leader helping hundreds of employees reach their full potential.

June’s story is a testament for using adversity to learn from and being grateful for the lessons adversity teaches us.

As it says in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
“No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will come to see 
how our experience can benefit others”

Despite the challenges we’ve all faced, what opportunity to learn from adversity are you most grateful for this year?

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