From White-Knuckling It to White-Boarding It.
Resilience buys you time; adaptability buys you a future. This concept is just as true for individuals as it is for companies.
My first reaction to a stressful situation is often to clench and hold on for dear life. On the surface, my grip could be interpreted as grit or resilience. And there are times when just enduring the “white knuckle” situation is the best we can do until we get to the other side of our monsoon and, hopefully, sunnier skies.
However, sometimes that kind of resolute survival instinct can be the exact opposite of what’s needed to succeed long-term, especially if the world (or your competitive environment) is rapidly changing. Too many leaders over-value resilience and under-value adaptability.
When MEA was faced with our pandemic shut down in March 2020, we “white-knuckled” it for a couple of months, looking at how we could reduce costs to buy us time. But it was clear to us—contrary to what the White House was saying—Covid would not be “behind us” by Memorial Day 2020.
So, thanks to my partners Jeff, Christine, Skylar, and our entire MEA team, we spent time at the “whiteboard” creatively imagining how we could adapt in these uncertain times. And, from that came all kinds of innovations: Sabbatical Sessions, MEA Online, Regenerative Communities in Santa Fe, a Corazon alumni subscription program, and more. Due to our creative “white-boarding” sessions—and embracing the spirit of adapting and evolving—we are a better company today than we were pre-pandemic.
Where in your life are you stuck in the “white-knuckling” mode, and how could you evolve and adapt to create a better future?