Simply Resilient

Kelli Steckbauer | May 9, 2017

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Did you ever wonder if Dickens was describing a Tale of Two Cities – or a Tale of Experience Marketing?

Let’s face it – this is a challenging industry. A myriad of interconnected details must be accomplished. Internal stakeholders must be satisfied. External clients must be energized. And social media must hum with likes and shares. Your job isn’t easy. But then, nothing worth doing really is.

One thing that sets apart leaders in the experience marketing space is their resilience – that amazing quality that lets them overcome obstacles and keep coming back, event after event.

How do you inspire a simply resilient attitude in face of the inevitable challenges and roadblocks that can bring you down? Here’s what I do to keep perspective as VP of Operations for mg:

  • Know yourself. How do you perceive the world? How do you respond to stress? What helps restore your equilibrium? When you’re operating on empty, it’s easy to go into firefighter mode at the sacrifice of a healthy routine. This can do more damage than good. Proper sleep, good nutrition and exercise provide the fuel you need to make it through difficult times. Understand your body’s signals and make sure you are getting everything you need to proceed.
  • Keep your cool. Stress brings out emotions better than the best tearjerker. Emotional responses may feel good at the time, but they won’t solve the compelling real-work challenges you face. The best plan of attack is to remain calm so you can logically address the issues you and your team are facing. Count to 10, take a deep breath and stay objective. This too shall pass.
  • Be confident. In yourself. In your abilities. In your team. Doubt can derail your ability to deal with difficulty. Even Superman had his kryptonite – but he still kept fighting. Persevere and know that you can handle this. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. That’s what teamwork is all about.
  • Be prepared. Not just for the situation at hand, but for the other responsibilities you are facing. Plan for the unexpected and resist the temptation to put everything on hold to get through this crisis. Your future self will thank you.
  • Learn when to say no. Overcommitting is a sure recipe for stress. Be honest with yourself and the people you lead and serve. Don’t take on commitments you cannot fulfill. But don’t use busy-ness as an excuse not to help others. There is something cathartic about serving during trial. It can help maintain perspective.
  • Have some fun. Take your challenges seriously, to be sure – but don’t be afraid to laugh a little in the process. A little levity can help you see solutions that might evade you otherwise. And be thankful for the minor victories. It’s there that the battle is ultimately won.

Challenges may be inevitable in an industry like ours. But a simply resilient attitude will get you through those tough times. You can do this. I have faith in you!