GlobalStar is celebrating our 20th Anniversary this year. Some may say we have been lucky, but I don’t believe in luck. Luck is where opportunity meets preparedness—but what underlies preparation? It’s the ability to adapt. Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” So, what is it that gives a person the ability to adapt while others struggle? It’s having the mental and emotional discipline to forge ahead while in the face of enormous obstacles. It’s the ability to not get too high from your wins or too low from your losses. It’s taking things in stride. Adaptability is about staying the course while others are giving up.
In a letter Ernest Hemingway sent to F. Scott Fitzgerald about being careful around someone who has the guts to persevere. Hemingway wrote that he was not referring to having guts, but something else. That something else was having “Grace Under Pressure.” Hemingway said, “Guts never made any money or anybody.” The idea of having guts has to do with unbridled tenacity. Where grace under pressure is about having courage—the courage to adapt to the worst of conditions and come out on top. Running a successful services company is not for the faint at heart… We’ve had more than our share of less than wonderful moments at GlobalStar.
The key is to establish a centered set of principle-based values that you operate from, no matter the situation. This is what allows you to have grace under pressure, because you are operating from the integrity of your truth. Like most all initiatives, this starts at the top. Leadership needs to remain consistent and non-dichotomous. The messaging from the top needs to flow in a circular manner within the entire organization. This allows for transparency and multidirectional communication. If you want true synergy and energized buy-in, then you must work hard to advocate the enrollment of everyone into the purposeful truth that is your organization. An organization is like a living entity. It needs to be fed, appreciated, respected, and nurtured by all involved.
The dynamic fluidness of an organization requires having the ability to adapt to any situation at any given time. The key is to proactively stay in front of your business in order to mitigate unwanted surprises. This begins by having everyone on the same page, rowing in the same direction. It’s an inside out undertaking. Companies that spend their time complaining about their customers or making excuses as to why they are falling short, are totally missing the mark. Before you go blaming anyone, always start by looking at yourself. From there, look within your organization. Is your company doing everything possible to ensure the success of your people. Good leaders realize that they work for the people they lead and are defined by their ability to effectively manage a variety of conditions. As Darwin said, longevity and success are not about intelligence or strength, it’s about your ability to best manage the inevitability of change. My rule of thumb is that no one likes surprises in business, unless they are good surprises. Stay in front of your business and avoid unwanted surprises.