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The Comedy of Resilence

The goal of resilience is to thrive. Jamais Cascio

Recently in an online community, a participant shared that significant layoffs were announced earlier that day. In this instance, pink slip Friday arrived on Tuesday. Feast or famine. Resilience is the main ingredient to future alignment.

On the heels of this announcement, I got wind of another enterprise closing four locations, budgets for severance cut once, then again. Those of us who have lived through this trauma know resilience is strengthened and learning opportunities arise along with forging new relationships and building successes with new teams when pause is taken in the form of a short recess. Recharge. Reset.

Earlier in my career, one hundred colleagues and I received an email invitation to innovate. The invitation, which in hindsight was an intervention, was met with divided enthusiasm at the publishing company. Receiving this missive was like parents notifying their children they would arrive home in six hours, just enough time to straighten up the house, send distractions on their way and be ready to receive commemorations from a long respite. The timeline the parent company imposed excited those from whom ideas were rarely solicited, yet those ideas emailed to the vice president sat unacknowledged. The invitation to join the executive team of the parent company at a local theater felt like the curtain was about to open on a new production. However, with unmet expectations the curtain fell, becoming a death knoll. Thirty colleagues were downsized within 30 days, the remainder one year hence when the division was sold. When I think of resilience, I remember how the remaining colleagues buoyed each other.

I had no time to fret. The downsizing came during the last semester I was earning my undergraduate degree. At the same time my siblings and I were caregiving for my father in my parents’ condo 35 miles from my home. My next opportunity came in the senior living industry for which the empathy I gained from caregiving allowed me to be authentic in relaying the benefits of a 3-tier senior living community. What a treasured time I had priming a dormant database for a leader in the industry that resulted in numerous sales within a two-week period and ensured a better quality of life for elders.

Several years later my resilience was further strengthened when I worked in the marketing department of a Fortune 500 company. Agendas for department meetings scheduled for 10:00 am in the U.S. were often derailed, shifted by a phone call from European headquarters, eight hours ahead of the subsidiary. The diverse team was a textbook in resilience, some were followers of Buddhism. The company’s philosophy of relationships, solutions and celebration goals always surpassed the previous day.

I would love to hear your story of resilience
that opened new vistas and remains an inspiration in timely shifts. Thank you
for leaving your inspiring story in the comments below.

Evelyn Asher is an Executive Coach with a passion to create resilience and enhance lives.

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