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How well do you handle long-term adversity?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How well do you handle long-term adversity?

  • Extremely well — I can thrive through years of adversity: 15%
  • Very well — I can manage through prolonged adversity: 39%
  • Well — I can succeed for a while, but I lose energy over time: 40%
  • Not well — I succeed short term but not long term: 3%
  • Poorly — I struggle dealing with long-term adversity: 2%

A tough bunch. Many of you say you do well with adversity even for prolonged periods of time. Just be aware of the risks of being “tough” and ignoring the warning signs of issues. Chronic stress can lead to fatigue, lower job performance, and large health issues. As a guy who’s had two heart attacks, I’m qualified to opine on the subject. When you find yourself in long-term stressful situations, learn how to build your resilience – which is one of the 12 traits of great leaders – through focused efforts on taking care of yourself. While you may get the job done, if you don’t survive to get your year-end bonus, it’s not really worth it.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and the host of the upcoming Executive Insight 16 — a leadership conference being held in New York this November.