The word resilient is defined in the following way when applied to a person: “ . . .recovering easily and quickly from shock, illness, hardship, etc. Irrepressible.”
Irrepressible. What a great word to describe resilient. We think of resiliency just as it is defined. Something happens to someone, and they have the fortitude to bounce back and overcome, to rise like the Phoenix out of the ashes. If only it were as simple as it sounds.
In February 2014, my mom went into the hospital to deal with reoccurring issues with pulmonary effusions, or to simplify things for all of you non-medical readers, water accumulating in her lungs. At eighty-nine years old and in failing health due to the ravages of dementia, she physically didn’t have much left to fight with. These effusions were sapping her of her strength and taxing her emotionally.
After an initial visit from the doctor, it was decided that she needed to have this water drained again. This is a grueling procedure for most people, and Mom, at 4’10” and all of ninety-two pounds, really suffered when she had to have this done. My wife Barb and I had gone home to take a break. I had made the decision to return to the hospital that night, as Mom was due to have the draining procedure done at 8 p.m. I didn’t want her to go through this alone, yet the procedure didn’t require both of us there. I insisted that Barb stay at home.
After visiting Mom briefly, I had a private discussion with the doctor on duty. She started giving me confusing information about these effusions: “These effusions are a by-product of a heart problem she is having. She’s already had several episodes. I don’t think she will leave the hospital alive.” You see, Mom had a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) on file. If she went through a cardiac arrest and I wasn’t there, the hospital would have no choice but to allow her to die.
As I was still wrestling with this new information, the doctor who had come to do the effusion procedure became concerned. Mom was getting increasingly agitated and scared. I started texting Barb about what was going on. She asked, “Do you want me to come?” I said, “No. I think it’s fine for now.” No sooner than I hit SEND, then a whirlwind began. Mom went into a cardiac arrest. She was dying right in front of me. The doctor looked at me and asked me something I will never forget. . . .
“Do you want us to try to save her?”
Because I had power of attorney, I had the capacity to authorize life-saving measures. It took me about two seconds to say, “YES!” In my view, we would either save her and she would get another chance, or she would die with us trying. I was prepared for both outcomes. Over the next twenty minutes (which seemed like two hours), I watched Mom being given the defibrillator and CPR by this doctor and a group of valiant nurses. Their efforts were not in vain. She stayed the night in intensive care, where we were again told that there was still a more than 50 percent chance that she would pass away while in the hospital.
I still recall the priest who came to give her last rites, just in case. He asked her, “Alicia, are you ready to meet Jesus?” She answered, “Yes, but not now.” He chuckled. After a few more minutes, he asked again, “Alicia, are you ready to meet Jesus?” Her answer (with a little added emphasis), “Yes, but not now.” He tried one more time, and she looked at him as if he must be deaf. Her response was the same. He smiled, looked at us, and said, “She’s not dying yet. She’s not ready to go.”
Mom lived for almost another two years. Resilient. Irrepressible. Significant.
That’s my definition of “resilient.” It’s that powerful capability to bounce back after a trauma of any kind—physical or emotional. Now let’s combine this with “positivity.”
It’s not human to be ceaselessly positive. Bad things happen to all of us that will alter our attitudes and often our worldviews. My experience tells me that it’s most often the small setbacks over time that have the most effect on a person’s attitude and mentality. While Mom’s story was pretty dramatic to her and to us, I feel like we all go through some trial or tribulation virtually daily and that these add up to affect our thinking.
Being positive sounds easy, and it is when things are wonderful. In fact, it’s really easy to be a terrific leader of a business or company when the sun is shining. But as collegiate basketball coach James Harrison “Babe” McCarthy once quipped, “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s butt every day.” And it don’t. . .er, doesn’t!
Showing resilient positivity is similar to a good stock on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. There will be occasional dips over time. Stock traders will often cash in on gains or sometimes a little bad news affects the stock. However, those dips never go too deep or last too long before the stock starts trending up again. That’s got to be you.
First, you need to develop an attitude of being positive. Much of the remainder of this book will focus on that. The next step is the most critical. It’s finding a way to be resilient when things look bleak. You need some perspective and some internal trigger to provide you with the very best self-talk you can muster. Sure, it is great to have coaches, colleagues, mentors, and family to help you talk about things, and that can’t be overstated. Yet in the end, it’s about you and the determination that regardless of the reason for the “dip,” you will correct your “stock” to start trending back in the right direction.
Being resiliently positive is easy to say and much more difficult to do. As you read this book, keep this concept in mind as we discuss important strategies and tactics for achieving this mentality so that you can be an Unleashed leader.
You can pre-order the book at a 40% discount until October 1. All pre-orders will be personally signed by Dan. Order right now by clicking here.
© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved
© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved
I had a fascinating conversation with a fellow Rotarian after our club meeting last week. Rick and I were discussing the change in media over the past 3 decades and how information is both disseminated and heard. We laughed about the days that don’t seem so long ago when you had to get up to change the television channel, so you ended up having a longer attention span!
The conversation I had with Rick goes beyond simply media coverage. If you pay attention to presidential campaigns, popular television shows, or even business websites, you’re finding that we take in the world more and more in “sound bytes.” Now we can debate the efficacy of this for hours, but let’s at least admit it’s real. What’s that mean for you in a business sense?
It means that if you want to be influential, you need to become skilled in sound bytes. This means being interesting, charismatic, pithy, articulate, and above all else, giving valuable content. You might be trying to influence employees, co-workers, investors, prospective and current clients, or just your spouse on where you want to go on vacation. We live in a sound byte world, so don’t fight it. Rather embrace it by becoming masterful in its delivery. The art of being influential in the 21st century is different that it was 3 decades ago. You’d better become artful….
This week’s quote –
You can read more of Captain Jack’s musings in Dan’s new book, Unleashed Leadership (see cover below). Jack has an anecdote after every chapter. On pre-order now with a 40% discount. Click here to buy your signed copy today!
Earlier this week, you may have read the tale of the great escape as told by the escapee, Captain Jack. The dude showed he’s still got game when it comes to getting unleashed – or in this case running with the leash still secured to him. He explained the extra “baggage” kept him from being able to fully maximize his agility and nimbleness, so he was quickly corralled by yours truly.
All that being said, one can learn a few post-event from his response.
Although being scolded, Captain Jack showed no remorse. He trotted home accepting the fact that his adventure was short-lived; he drank up the entire bowl of water; went to the window to get a full stretch, and then settled in for a much deserved nap.
Very often, when we humans fail at some attempt at a new opportunity – maybe it was a sales call, an interview, a misunderstanding, or just a good attempt that went awry – we allow that failure to become “leashed” to us for hours, days, months, or even years.
Dogs have it figured out better. They chalk up failure to happenstance or serendipity and just move on. They are seeking out that next smell; or that next opportunity. Wasting time on failures means you just might miss that next chance for success.
Take it from dogs – Be bold and courageous and do your best. If it works, great. If you fail, then you’ve learned something. If you walk away from failure without having learned something and improving yourself, then the failure wins. If you walk away from failure and let it stick around and rent space in your brain, then it wins again. The only way you win is to dump the leash and be free to check out new smells and new opportunities to run.
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved
Read more Captain Jack in my (or our) new book, Unleashed Leadership. Pre-orders now being taken with a substantial discount. Order today and assure you get a signed copy on the first release in October!
“This book has arrived at a great time for you, because no matter what stage of growth you currently occupy, Dan will help you to grow further and faster. He creates positive change with positive psychology, but also creates sustainable results through the mastery of the skills and behaviors required for ongoing success. Make no mistake, this isn’t a “self-help” book. You need Dan’s help, as so many others have.” Excerpt from Foreword by Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting and 60 other business books in 12 languages
I escaped last week. Barb had me on the leash and she wasn’t focused on me. She was scolding Dan for something dumb he did. That meant when she sidestepped on the front stairs and lost her grip on my leash, my moment of opportunity arose. And I took it…
I still have breakaway speed. I fled up my street like a cheetah on the hunt. I heard Dan yell, “Jack,” but that didn’t stop me. I was unleashed. Well, actually not really. The leash was still attached to my harness and it was flopping around wildly behind me as I ran.
Dan didn’t take too long to track me down. I was scampering around houses, but he could hear the stupid leash and knew where I was. I also knew that he could get close to me and easily step on it and stop me, so I gave up without much of a fight. My moment of freedom was short-lived this time.
Here’s the deal – if you have freed yourself from your confines, but choose to bring the baggage that should be left behind, you’re no better off than me dragging around the leash. Your “dangling leash” will render the pursuit of your goals and dreams as fleeting as my adventure. If you’re going to go for your dreams, then leave the leash behind. The extra weight and cord will hold you down. Be free and prosper…
This week’s quote –
You can read more of Captain Jack’s musings in Dan’s new book, Unleashed Leadership (see cover below). Jack has an anecdote after every chapter. On pre-order now with a 40% discount. Click here to buy your signed copy today.
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I just completed a 3-part virtual workshop experience with nearly 40 consultants from around the country on branding. The culmination yesterday actually started getting culinary…
Here’s the deal on banding for any business or practice… You have to have both the steak and the sizzle in order to be significant, interesting, and ultimately successful in promoting your unique brand. The steak is your content and the sizzle is your delivery. Here’s my recipe…
- Defrost the steak. Take your talent and skill out of deep freeze and that it. Specifically, truly understand your value and how you improve the condition of others. Define who those “others” are – CEOs, Presidents, or the retail buyer. You are marketing your brand to people, not organizations. Understand and believe in your brand and know clearly who benefits from it.
- Season the Steak. Make your content powerful. Make it unique to you based on your experience and “smarts.” Create categories that will be valuable to the readers and listeners of your intellectual property. Create content that will rise above the rest of the “noise.”
- Sizzle. Alan Weiss has said that if you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music. You’re responsible for branding yourself through the distribution of your intellectual property, your marketing, your networking, and your value. Here;s the thing – boring never works. You must be interesting. You do this by being contrarian; by being edgy; by being bold; by being creative; by being fearless; and by being clever. You’re genius will never be fully tapped – fully unleashed – if nobody knows you exist.
Bottom line – you can cook your steak inside that fence, but the sizzle will be the thing that unleashes the value to the world. Make no mistake, you need both. It’s a process that requires discipline, creativity, and guidance. I know Betsy and I needed help from our mentor and community….and we still utilize it!
What are you doing to make a great steak and sizzle in your business and career?
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Important – My new book is out and ready for pre-order at a 40% discount. Purchase Unleashed Leadership today and it will be sent out to you (signed by me) in October. Sales are already brisk…buy yours now! Buy here
Important Again – Want to make sure you are kept apprised of future Betsy & Dan events? Visit my website and subscribe to my mailing list under “Betsy & Dan.” Website for Betsy & Dan
15 minutes, 50 seconds
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Order your signed copy of Unleashed Leadership to be mailed out in October. 40% discount when ordered now!
“This book has arrived at a great time for you, because no matter what stage of growth you currently occupy, Dan will help you to grow further and faster. He creates positive change with positive psychology, but also creates sustainable results through the mastery of the skills and behaviors required for ongoing success. Make no mistake, this isn’t a “self-help” book. You need Dan’s help, as so many others have.”
Alan Weiss, author Million Dollar Consulting (excerpt from Foreword)