Quality Blog

Jim's Gems: Motivation in the Face of Adversity

November 14, 2012
KEYWORDS adversity / hope / morale
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When an assignment, project or a career begins there is the hope, and even the assumption that it will be successful. We find ourselves motivated and optimistic about our success.
However, what happens when we face adversity or "hit the wall"?  What happens when we get mired in problems or caught up in conflicts, or the project slows to a crawl? What happens when whatever we are doing becomes troubled in all the many ways that it can?
Many people may lose the motivation to press on and even become clinically depressed. Morale falls and performance fades. This typically becomes aggravated by the tendency many managers have to crack the whip and add more pressure, often without addressing the root cause of the trouble. It is also intensified by the failure of managers and team members to acknowledge that anything is amiss.
In the work of self-improvement, hindrances--and a perceived lack of progress--often results in self doubt. Self-doubt is destructive, as it causes the internal fire of effort to burn down and eventually go out. We settle into the status quo and stop moving forward.
How do we motivate ourselves and others in the face of adversity, trouble and problems? How do we get inspired to get through the situation and succeed? How do we find the courage to admit that success is not possible and cut our losses?
We’ll discuss some answers to these questions next week but in the mean time, think about it. If you have the time and interest let us know what you think by posting a comment.
Remember the path to success is not a straight line but it is paved with many twists, turns and detours. 




 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
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