With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, leaders of all kinds are being challenged to lead in uncertain times. What we’ve experienced over the last few weeks, specifically in the United States, is absolutely unprecedented. There aren’t many events in history that compare to the difficulties this pandemic has presented. The setbacks have been widespread and significant for us all. The question is—how will you respond? There is a famous quote by Frederick Douglass that applies well here, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Here’s what I know: Every setback has a benefit. Now, I don’t mean to diminish the problems you are facing currently. Trust me, I have great respect for the tremendous difficulties that many of us are being forced to maneuver. The organization that I lead has taken some major setbacks as well. But I do want to encourage you—nothing great has ever been achieved without adversity. Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.” If you step back from the pain and loss of difficult circumstances, you will be able to see their positive benefits. Consider these benefits of setbacks:
- Setbacks create resilience.
- Setbacks develop maturity.
- Setbacks provide greater opportunities.
- Setbacks prompt innovation.
- Setbacks push the envelope of accepted performance.
- Setbacks motivate.