Your greatest challenge is your greatest opportunity

Any crisis brings with it five types of opportunity for how we choose respond. And as well as five different outcomes we can work to create, we also have five options for how much we choose to learn and grow from the experience.

Ten years ago the challenges you face today probably would not have arisen for you. You were likely in a different role and you didn’t have the skills or experience to be able to do what you can do today. In the same way, things that you found challenging then are probably easy and routine for you now.

The abilities you have today have grown directly out of the challenges you faced in the past. This means the challenges you face today are opportunities for you to develop into the kind of person you want to become in ten years’ time. Each situation brings with it not only the opportunity to create new outcomes but also the opportunity to develop new abilities to lead yourself and others in whatever work you do.

Your five additional options for moving forward are:

  1. Transform your leadership
    Acquire the leadership skills that would have prevented the situation from arising in the first place. If you can’t think of what those skills are, think of a leader who would have been able to prevent the crisis from arising. Then ask yourself what they would have done to achieve that and learn to copy it.
  2. Improve the way you lead yourself and others
    Use the situation as an opportunity to develop your skills and abilities, perhaps by addressing a larger or more complex situation than you have done before.
  3. Maintain your existing leadership skills
    Apply the leadership abilities you already have (and use them to fix, improve, transform, or exit the situation).
  4. Ignore the situation
    Make the choice that, even though you could apply your existing leadership skills to address the situation, you will choose to ignore it or live with it — either because it is not a priority for you or so that others can learn and grow.
  5. Remove your leadership skills to somewhere else
    Actively shift your leadership skills into a different role, perhaps one that has more meaning for you, that better matches your needs, or will develop or reward you better.

Any crisis brings with it five options for the actions you choose to take and five options for what you choose to learn from the experience.

And your greatest crisis contains your greatest opportunity to learn.