Six Strategies Worksheet for Turning Adversity into Opportunity: 3

Clarity about personal values has the most significant impact on employees’ feelings about their work and what they’re doing in the workplace. This is not to say that shared values don’t matter. Our research and that of others suggests that it does. What it does point out, however, is that people cannot fully commit unless whatever they are being asked to commit to fits with their own beliefs.  


As leaders we have a responsibility to make sure we create a climate in which people can thrive when faced with change, adversity, challenge, and stress. And the following is the third of six actionable strategies adapted from Turning Adversity into Opportunity that can help you do that—to navigate through challenging times to discover what truly matters. 


Strategy #3:  Fully Commit to What's Important 
Change demands our full attention, imagination, and effort. People need to know what's most meaningful and important.  And research clearly suggests that there is a significant measurable impact on people’s performance when their personal values are clear.  


To implement this strategy, identify a situation you and your constituents are currently facing. Pause and reflect on the following questions and engage others you are working with in exploring how to broaden its application to address your collective challenge. 
  • Why are we doing what we’re doing? 
  • What’s the larger purpose? 
  • Why does what we’re doing matter? 
  • What are we really passionate about? 
  • What important shared values and beliefs can we emphasize to keep people engaged? 
  • What are some exciting possibilities for the future? 
  • Who’s counting on us? 
  • Who cares about and depends on the quality, innovativeness, and efficiency of our efforts?

Being fully committed is what keeps you and your constituents on track and willing to struggle through the hard times. 


Copyright © 2014. Based on James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, Turning Adversity Into Opportunity. San Francisco: The Leadership Challenge, A Wiley Brand. (2014)

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