“If you’re going through hell, keep going,” Winston Churchill famously declared.
This could not be truer for what the stakeholders and team members of Mace have endured during the last few months. Changes in consumer buying patterns driven by higher inflation and paring back of inventory levels by our retail customers caused significant year-over-year revenue declines resulting in operating losses at this small micro-cap company.
Resources become strapped and layoffs ensued. But the need to increase our productivity was necessary to get out of the logjam. Hence, the ability to adapt and become resilient became essential for us.
Adaptability allows individuals to respond to changing circumstances and take advantage of new opportunities. Resilience, on the other hand, enables individuals to persevere in the face of adversity, learn from setbacks, and adapt their approach accordingly.
Here are a few lessons we learned from our journey during these tough times.
Embrace a growth mindset. A growth mindset enables individuals to see challenges as opportunities for learning and personal growth. It involves reframing failures as stepping stones toward success and embracing a mindset that thrives on continuous learning and development. When Mace’s organic sales started to decline, we looked at new opportunities and materialized those. We even launched a new service business during that time.
Be flexible and open. Being adaptable requires a willingness to let go of old routines and embrace new approaches. It means being open to diverse perspectives, ideas and methods, enabling our team members to find innovative solutions. Instead of spending research and development dollars before a dollar of revenue materialized, we partnered with inventors and offered co-branding partnerships.
Seek new experiences. Stepping outside of our comfort zones and exposing ourselves to new experiences enhanced our ability to adapt. By engaging in activities that challenged our existing skills and knowledge, we broadened our horizons and developed new capacities for resilience.
Build emotional resilience. We did this by developing the capacity to manage and regulate our emotions during stressful situations. It included cultivating self-awareness, practicing mindfulness and seeking support from others when needed.
Sharpen problem-solving skills. This was done by identifying solutions and taking proactive steps to address challenges. We viewed setbacks as opportunities for growth and found creative ways to navigate obstacles. We did more with less and learned to filter the “noise” from what was important and urgent.
Cultivate social support networks. Having trusted friends and mentors to lean on during tough times provides emotional support, guidance, and a sense of belonging that contributes to overall resilience.
In a world that continues to evolve at a rapid pace, adaptability and resilience have become essential skills for personal and professional success. We are not out of the woods yet and we continue to find ways to try to do more with less.
A famous quote by Nelson Mandela is apt here: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” ●
Sanjay Singh is Executive chairman of the board of directors at Mace Security International