Have you ever gone through hard times and wondered if anything good would come from it? Many times, especially as we go through hard times, it is easy to complain thinking you have done everything right so things should turn out how you envisioned them. It is easy to think things should go your way because you put in the time and hard work. In reality, if used properly, these are the times when you can experience the most growth. The hard times will make you stronger if you use them properly.
Use hard times to your advantage
So how do you use hard times to your advantage? There are always lessons to be learned through challenges. During the last five years the U.S. and many parts of the world have gone through very hard times economically. Thousands of people lost their jobs and companies went out of business. In addition, many people lost their homes. Some people might ask, what good can come from this? These challenging times have been very hard, scary, and real for many people.There is, however, good coming from all the hard times. Scott Thurm, journalist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote the article For Big Companies, Life Is Good. In the article he explained that “An analysis by The Wall Street Journal of corporate financial reports finds that cumulative sales, profits and employment last year among members of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index exceeded the totals of 2007, before the recession and financial crisis.”
He went on to explain that companies are much leaner than they were when the recession started. They have trimmed the fat and now operate much more efficiently. They have made it through the challenging times to be stronger companies now than when the hard times began.
In addition to the companies, many people have taken advantage of the hard times. The number of people starting and graduating from college has gone up since the start of the recession. People have gone back to school to gain an education. They have become more equipped through education. This has made the work force stronger.
So how does this transfer into leadership? As leaders, it is important to find opportunities to learn as you go through hard times. Identify what improvements you can make and actively work to improve. Ask yourself, “where can I be more efficient in my leadership and amongst those I lead?” Identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses through a personal inventory.
In addition, request feedback from others on your leadership ability. With the feedback in mind, pick a weakness one at a time and do all you can to turn it into a strength. As you do that, you will see significant improvement in your leadership.
How have you taken advantage of hard times as leader? Do you think you are better because of the trials you have gone through? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!