“The Agile Leader: Turning Adversity Into Advantage” by C.J. Alvarado

At the Thrive Conference, C.J. Alvarado shared a message on “The Agile Leader: Turning Adversity into Advantage.”

We will all face adversity.

We can learn to take the hits and still win like Muhammad Ali implementing the “rope-a-dope” strategy to defeat George Foreman. He let the ropes help absorb the impact which exhausted Foreman.

The Agile Leader Manages Perception, Actions, and Will.

Manage Your Perception

“Nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare

Worry is like a gas. It expands to take up all space in our mind keeping us from being creative or innovative.

Practice Objectivity

“Don’t let the force of an impression when it first hits you knock you off your feet; just say to it: Hold on for a moment; let me see who you are and what you represent. Let me put you to the test.”

We want leaders who see an obstacle and think to themselves: “Let’s figure this out!”

Manage Your Actions

“You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.” – Jesus (Matthew 10)

“Don’t worry, be scrappy.” – C.J. Alvarado

Practice Agility

The agile leaders is so quick and nimble that often times, they’ve identified and moved beyond obstacles and into solutions.

Those obstacles never get the chance to be called “problems.”

Most battles are not won by going head first into it. Instead, generals that win are agile, strategic, and creative. They definitely don’t run away from the battle!

Louis Zamperini’s advice for younger generations: “Be hearty!”

Encourage your people to test their own ideas. Consider: is this idea a painkiller or a vitamin? Usually we don’t take vitamins consistently, but when we are in pain we will not stop searching until we find a painkiller. A vitamin is incremental change. Painkillers change everything.

Make painkillers not vitamins!

Rules for testing ideas:

  1. Find the quickest path to the experience you are trying to create. (Example – Rapid prototyping. Google Glass was created and implemented in 10 hours.)
  2. Doing is the best kind of thinking.
  3. Use materials that move at the speed of thought so that you can maximize your rate of learning.

Manage Your Will

Will has more to do with surrender than strength.

“If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.”
– Proverbs 24:10

Practice Willpower

We can think. We can act. But will allows us to adjust to the uncertainty of life.

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