The word adversity tends to create a sense of panic and stress within us. As we look ahead to the mountain in front of us, our mind dreams up the worst case scenario, which in turn creates more anxiety, which in turn creates a more sever scenario, more anxiety…. you get the picture.
The issue with adversity is that it is always worse in our heads that it is in real life, with exceptions of course.
We should, instead, look at leading people through adversity as weight training. We get to lead people to do things they didn’t originally think possible. We lead people to become stronger. When we lead people successfully through difficult situations, we, they, the organization is stronger as a whole.
Andy Stanley says that as leaders one of the greatest gifts we can give an organization is imbalance. Before you think that makes no sense, let me ask you this? What is the role of a leader? To lead. To make the organization better.
If I want to become stronger as an individual, I begin weight training. I put my body through routines that force it into imbalance, so that muscles long forgotten, begin twitching, and griping, and stretching, and put into use. Believe you me the next day those muscles I never knew are in protest (people can be that way as well). The day after? More protest! But the third and fourth day the pain subsides and I have a stronger muscle.
We put ourselves through years of difficult schooling. We study. We take tests. We gripe and complain about school-work. Then graduation comes and we are better for it.
It is the same concept from James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Adversity is difficult. Lifting a dumbbell or doing star crawls is difficult as well. In leading through adversity we face resistance and soreness. But on the other end of it we should have a stronger organization just as we have a stronger body.