You face challenges every day. Some are tougher than others. But before you tackle them head on, be clear about who and what you’re dealing with. There’s a big difference between “adversity” and “adversary”. Both pose a threat to your business, but you overcome them in different ways,
And the first step to mastering adversity and adversaries is recognizing them.
What is adversity?
Adversity is “stuff”—bad or scary stuff. COVID brought adversity. The world was suddenly shaken up like a snow globe. We waited to see things settle into place in the midst of the storm. Working from home and spending too much time in close quarters was adversity for many people during the restricted life in a pandemic. People lost their jobs, some lost their business, and still others lost their lives or a loved one.
The thing about adversity is that it’s usually temporary. Good times and bad times have that in common. They don’t last.
When the pandemic first hit, we panicked, trying to deal with something none of us had ever faced. One step at a time, we adapted. We created a workspace at home, the kids settled into virtual learning, and we acquiesced to the importance of wearing a mask in public.
Gradually, the world has reopened, not fully, but enough to enjoy some of the freedom we took for granted before COVID—like an abundance of toilet paper and the joy of eating out.
Don’t cower to adversity. Face it. Dealing with adversity requires flexibility, an open mind, and the drive to rise above a challenge. You need to assess the situation and determine a reasonable, realistic approach to manage it.
The adversary in your midst
The word “adversary” might conjure up images of an enemy. Maybe your adversary is a competitor in your industry or it’s that person that seems to see a target on your back. But what truly makes an adversary more challenging than adversity is that you don’t always recognize the person who is working against you.
In an organization, one of the craftiest adversaries is the one you often overlook. It’s the person who isn’t working. They’re faking it. They look busy—but so does a hamster on a wheel. Being busy is not the same as being productive, When one member of your team isn’t meeting expectations, the result is that others have to pick up the slack—taking time from their own responsibilities—or the work just doesn’t get done. When the adversary is left to their own devices, they can also spread their infection of inferiority to their co-workers, building a small army of time-wasters.
Either way, you’re being silently attacked by a marauder who seems harmless. The best case scenario when you have this infection is that the majority of your team simply ignores the adversary and you sacrifice only the lost productivity of one worker. Worst case is that your sales stars become frustrated with your tolerance for the abject behavior and move on to a stronger team.
In my next post, I’ll look at ways to find the internal adversary and successfully remove the threat to your team’s success. In the meantime, reach out to me to learn how adversaries in your new home sales organization are crippling your team and blocking the potential for success.