Learn to Use Adversity

by | Apr 21, 2022 | Leadership

Adversity: let’s talk about it!  

March Madness is done and it reminded me of a quote from the University of Virginia’s Head Basketball Coach, Tony Bennett. He says, “If you learn to use adversity, it will buy you a ticket to a place you could not have gone any other way.”  

Tony Bennett is speaking from experience. A few years ago, he was the number one seed at Virginia, and they lost to a 16 seed for the first time in history. It was a huge upset; he and his team got crushed and social media vilified them. The following year they got back into the tournament and won the championship. I think his point is that they probably wouldn’t have won that championship had they not lost to a 16 seed team the year before.  

Looking back, we know that adversity is challenging. Nobody looks for adversity, wants it, or chooses it. However, we all go through it. You cannot avoid trouble in your personal or professional life. You are going to encounter adversity.  

The biggest difference between winners and losers, achievers and nonachievers, is how they handle adversity. Do they let it define them? Do they let it get them down and keep them down? Or do they learn from adversity, lean into it, apply the lessons, and use it going forward to create something special?  

 Through all the success that Service Express has had over the years, we’ve gone through many adverse times. I personally have gone through a lot of adversity here, it happens with a growing company. There are peaks and plateaus.  

When you hit plateaus, things are a bit wonky, not running smoothly, and you need to figure it out. Those aren’t the most fun times, but that’s when I always run to the problem and dive into it. However, those end up being the best times, the fun times that we talk about, laugh about and appreciate. All the things that we do well today, we didn’t do well at some other point.  

We all face adversity, but how we get through it defines us going forward. We need to lean on those times for confidence, knowing we’ve gone through this before and can go through it again.  

I want you to reflect on and think about this: “If you learn to use adversity, it will buy you a ticket to a place you could not have gone any other way.”  

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About Me

I am the President & CEO of Service Express, a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Service Express has averaged double digit growth every year since 2001.

We attribute our success to a unique corporate culture that we call The Service Express Way. I am a member of the Young President Organization and sit on the Board of the Spectrum Health Foundation.