I continue to be impressed. Granted, that may sound slightly odd in the wake of what can only be considered a terrible week for our country. Everyone’s attention has been consumed by the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon, and rightly so. Sadly, that wasn’t the only thing that went wrong. Flooding in the Midwest has claimed many lives and the plant explosion in Texas has uprooted an entire town.
What impresses me in the face of these many tragedies is our resilience and strength. Obstacles and misfortune are a constant reminder that we live in a dynamically changing, uncertain world. Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong, it will. I don’t personally subscribe to that level of pessimism, but there’s a nugget of truth contained there.
Of all the traits that successful people demonstrate, I believe none to be so crucial as the ability to be resilient, to persevere in the face of long odds and repeated failures. It’s not just a critical trait in the professional world; it’s also important in your personal life. To see the nation rally around victims, to honor those that lost their lives while also lending a hand to those in need, these are the things that are humbling to see.
Hopefully your organization doesn’t have to face events that could be categorized as horrific. Yes, we all tend to be invested in our jobs, but perspective usually finds its way into the conversation and we realize that not everything we deal with is life and death. Especially when we see actual life and death events playing out around us. Regardless, resilience and rallying to a singular purpose can occur amongst the people at your company just like they do with external events. Just don’t wait for something terrible to happen to harness these qualities.
People will surprise you with their strength of spirit. Good leaders find a way to tap into that before something goes wrong.