When Surprises are the New Normal

Dateline: August 9, 2013

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Management guru and Harvard Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter recently published a blog about the difference in winners and losers.  It’s not about how you win, but what you do when you lose, that really defines a winner in the long run.  To quote Professor Kanter,

The difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing. That’s a key finding from my ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders: no one can completely avoid troubles and potential pitfalls are everywhere, so the real skill is the resilience to climb out of the hole and bounce back.

She continues,

Resilience is the ability to recover from fumbles or outright mistakes and bounce back. But flexibility alone is not enough. You have to learn from your errors. Those with resilience build on the cornerstones of confidence — accountability (taking responsibility and showing remorse), collaboration (supporting others in reaching a common goal), and initiative (focusing on positive steps and improvements).

Complacency, arrogance, and greed crowd out resilience. Humility and a noble purpose fuel it. Those with an authentic desire to serve, not just narcissism about wanting to be at the top, are willing to settle for less as an investment in better things later.

Professor Kanter suggests that in our environment, surprises are the new normal.  To handle the unexpected, resilience is the key skill.

How resilient are you? How do you handle the unexpected?  The ‘failures’?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a wonderful weekend.

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