“How can a crisis ever be an advantage?” asked one of the participants during one of my mastermind sessions earlier this year. It’s a question almost everyone asks but fail to acknowledge the solutions because their “situation is different” or they’re a special snowflake. Napoleon Hill said, “every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” That was in 1929, right after The Great Depression!
The crisis of 2020 is no different from any of the other we’ve had before. The opportunities are right here but we’ve got to find it before we can harness it to our advantage. And there are three distinct ones that we all can identify and leverage right now:
- Change in the balance of risks/rewards ratio — businesses and leaders almost never take a chance on an idea or an initiative that hasn’t been tried before or doesn’t have enough “data” to back up its effectiveness. Now, because during a crisis the overall outlook looks messy, there’s minimal risk in trying something that hasn’t been tried before. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, well it’s better than not trying at all!
- Enhanced focus — a crisis forces individuals and organizations to eliminate distractions and focus on the absolute essentials. This may mean frugal spending, limited consumption, maximizing resources, and unfortunately job cuts. While I certainly feel there are great alternatives to job cuts but it is what it is. Extreme decisions are a result of enhanced focuses because regardless of the situation at large the organization has to push forward towards its goals.
- Emerging leaders — every organization will have a bunch of people (leaders included) who don’t want to change or challenge the status-quo. Their defensive approach not only doesn’t work but also increases anxiety and frustration. Potential leaders, however, leverage these opportunities to step-up and lead great initiatives to build momentum when everyone else is just too afraid to act. Sure, they might fail but not before leaving a deep positive impression on everyone.
If these aren’t great advantages, I don’t know what is. The key is to recognize, acknowledge and act of them. Why? Because great results are a combination of clarity, understanding and execution. And we already know that execution is the key to everything.