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Taking Adversity and Creating an Opportunity!

You have heard the saying misery loves company. But isn’t taking adversity and creating an opportunity the attitude you would rather embody?

Recently we blogged about how instances people announce become adversity. Adversity in the workplace is a common practice. However, it does not always have to end badly. Let’s look at the positive outcomes of adversity and how it can open a door to opportunity.adversityOPPORTUNITY

Workplace adversity can be devastating, but what makes adversity an area for opportunity?  Attitude! Those who don’t let adversity hold them back. Those are the people who pick themselves up and dust themselves off. Those that rise above and flourish. An example of this is Eric LeGrand.

Eric LeGrand is an inspiration around the sports world, his story is told everywhere including back to back years at the ESPY’s. LeGrand was a football player for the University of Rutgers. Unfortunately, during his junior year (2010) he suffered a spinal cord injury that ended his football playing career. He was told that football would no longer be an option for him. Further, he was told that he would be on a respirator for the rest of his life. Lastly, he was told he would never walk again. Can you imagine hearing those words? I know I can’t.

LeGrand didn’t let the doctor’s words discourage him. He was determined to overcome the obstacles the doctor told him. Only five(5) weeks after his injury, the doctors determined LeGrand no longer required the use of the respirator. He later regained sensation and function in his extremities. In 2012, LeGrand’s former Rutgers coach, now the coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, drafted LeGrand. LeGrand was still in a wheelchair at the time. Using that positive motivation, with assistance Eric LeGrand is able to stand up on his own two feet.

Eric LeGrand is determined to overcome all the odds the doctors told him. He is off the respirator, operates his wheelchair, and has a goal to walk and be mobile again. In fact, he wants to return to the Rutgers field, lay himself down in the exact same spot where he fell, get up, walk off the field, and say, “I completed the play.” Now that is determination! Overcoming adversity takes a great deal of courage, strong will, and a positive attitude.

Not everyone’s story mimics LeGrand’s. For example a majority of companies would not take the risk that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did by drafting LeGrand. Most employers may see health as adversity i.e. something that may limit an employee from doing his or her best work. Further, they may get concerned about the cost of health insurance. Other relevant questions may include concern of whether the employee may be able to perform the job duties expected.

However, lets look at this from a more positive perspective. What if the employee, who, unfortunately, does have health struggles, can view his/her struggle as an opportunity the way LeGrand did? For example, keeping a positive attitude. Perhaps the employee would be able to positively contribute to the company by inspiring the workplace. The employee would be in a position to encourage, perhaps develop into a leadership role as a motivational speaker. Change the culture.

VRC works with business owners and our clients to minimize potential workplace adversity. As a result, we minimize the gap between management and employees. We address the situation appropriately. For example we work with companies to:

  • Learn from the challenge (whatever challenge that may be)
  • Allow past experiences to help make better decisions in the future
  • Develop a positive culture
  • Make a difference to one person that eventually has potential to positively affect others