When you take a nosedive, the only way is up

By Russell Bell

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Setbacks. Not the greatest word to start a column but they are something we all have to deal with at some point.

In this recessionary environment, the potential for such events is heightened - be it a contract which may not eventuate or receivables not being paid, the list goes on.

The secret to success is how you react to these situations and turn a negative situation into a positive.

That lesson was starkly illustrated in the most benign of environments by two events at my children's school sports day on Tuesday.

The first involved a child who had achieved a placing in a race subsequently being overlooked when the judges handed out the awards. Clearly, it was an injustice because of a line judge's oversight, but the disappointment on the child's face was palpable.

His protestations were largely ignored because the judges believed they were right. How often has a situation arisen in which you are clearly in the right but, with all the best efforts and intentions, you appear to be in the wrong?

In this case, my wife and I spoke up on behalf of the child regarding the true situation, and were backed up by other runners and parents.

The key here was that getting the right information communicated quickly and clearly removed the confusion and saw the right result.

When a setback occurs for you, make sure you have all the information and, if other parties are involved, ensure your situation and position is represented fairly and fully.

The second situation involved my daughter in her best event, the 400m. Now, Mrs Bell and I would be the first to admit we have below average athletic ability, so this speedy, athletic and fit child must be a quirk of genetics.

We expected her to do well. However, she was tripped at the start and rounded the first bend last. What happened next was a good lesson for all of us. She backed her abilities, sprinted full speed for the rest of the race and come third.

Faith and confidence are massive levers for success and how my daughter reacted to get an excellent result can be applied to any situation.

It's about playing to your strengths and seeing the opportunity to chase - no matter how bleak a situation may seem.

I am sure the thought might cross the mind of any child in that situation to give up or do a "Mary Decker" and howl about the injustice.

A business life is like a race and success can be measured, not in the moments of trial or triumph, but in how you ran through the whole event.

Zenith Solutions is a Wanganui-based management consulting practice. It specialises in providing strategic planning, business process improvement and financial management services. Contact russell@manageable.co.nz or phone 021-244-2421.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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