How To Use Adversity in Leadership to Improve Your Thinking

Adversity is a natural part of life, and as leaders, we will inevitably face challenges and setbacks. While it can be tempting to focus on the negative aspects of these challenges, it’s important to remember that adversity can also be a source of growth and development. By learning how to use adversity in leadership to improve your thinking, you can become a more resilient and effective leader.

Here are some ways to use adversity in your leadership to improve your thinking:

Discover your inner philosopher: Adversity often forces us to confront our beliefs and values. By taking the time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings during difficult times, you can gain a deeper understanding of who you are as a leader and what matters most to you.

Look for the opportunity: While it may not always be easy to see, adversity often brings with it new opportunities for growth and development. By looking for the silver lining and embracing change, you can turn adversity into an opportunity to learn and grow.

Embrace the evolution: Adversity often leads to change, and it’s important to be open to the evolution of your thinking, your actions, and your perspective. By embracing change and adapting to new circumstances, you can become a more flexible and agile leader, better equipped to navigate future challenges.

Seek out the good stuff: Research has shown that we tend to focus more on negative information than positive. According to a study by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, the ratio of positive to negative thoughts is 5:1, meaning we need to actively seek out the good stuff in order to maintain a balanced perspective. So, while it’s important to prepare for challenges, it’s also important to take the time to appreciate the good things in your life.

Look beyond the immediate challenge: When facing adversity, it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate problem at hand. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. By looking beyond the immediate challenge, you can gain a broader perspective and better understand the root cause of the problem.

Focus on lessons learned: Adversity often comes with valuable lessons, and it’s important to take the time to reflect on what you have learned. By focusing on the lessons learned from challenges, you can gain valuable insights and apply them to future situations.

Lead From Within: With the right mindset, adversity can be transformed into a source of growth and development for leaders.


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After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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