What Leaders Do When Faced With Adversity

I am fuming. I just received a phone call from my mechanic's office where my car has been for two weeks getting looked at.

For those of you who don't know, I am pretty hopeless with cars.  I love the look, the feel and the convenience of having a nice car, but I have no idea what's going on under that hood.  It's a whole other world.  So when I heard it making a strange squealing noise when driving, I knew I had to take it in.

During the time it's been there I had spoken with them a couple of times for some quotes (one was for $300, the other $100), both of which I approved, but you can probably understand how I felt when I just got the phone call that my bill's total was over $1300....

But that's not really why I was angry.  I understand cars need maintenance, and I trust the guys who work on the car.  They're good people.

But to explain this story, I need to go back a little further.

Around 2 months ago my car was scraped by another car.  Not anything bad, but enough to rack up some damage to the drivers door, front panel and leave some nasty marks.

It happened after I went in to grab a coffee from my favourite coffee shop and upon returning to my car, found a couple of people were looking at it.  I thought, well it's a nice car, they may just be admiring it....right?

As I get closer I see a piece of paper on the window that looked like a parking fine...how the hell did I get a fine?  I was only in there for 10 minutes!

As I got closer, one of the guys around the car told me someone hit it.  I said "What??" in slight disbelief.  I mean there was no damage that I could see.  That was until he told me to look at the drivers side.

And sure enough....Yep.  A nasty set of paint removal, dents and scratches.

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If you know about Melbourne, it is EXTREMELY rare for anyone to leave a note if they crash into someone's car...which is why I was so surprised when I looked up and saw a note with a name and number.  Wow, good karma was with me.

note

Although frustrated, I realised there was nothing I could do.  I got a hold of a panel beater (through a friend) to take a look at the car, and brought it down to their workshop.  They assured me everything would be fine. Their service was great.  They gave me a rental car, did all the paper work, and took are of all the insurance mumbo jumbo that we all hate.

After around a week, they called to what I assumed would be them letting me know my car was ready.  Instead they told me that before any work could be complete, my insurers would need to sight the damage and approve the repairs.  The next available time for this was at least 28 days. Given it was around Xmas time, I can understand to a degree why it would be a little longer, but wow...28 days!

Luckily the panel beater allowed me to keep their personal rental car over this time (which they didn't have to, given my insurance policy doesn't have the option for a rental car, but did out of generosity), so it wasn't too bad.

4 weeks on and I got the call saying the repairs were all approved so they can now start the work which should be complete in around a week.  Which it was.

The rental car they gave me was beautiful, but there is nothing like my little Golf.  Something about it I just love.

But after getting it back, it felt different.  Maybe it was because I was so used to their car?  But nope, there were some strange lights on in the dashboard and it wasn't driving right.  I rang my mechanic who mentioned it may just need a sensor re-calibration and to drop it past in the next few weeks.

After about a week of driving, I started also hearing a squealing noise. Uh-Oh.  Not good.

I decided to take it in.....which brings us back to the beginning of the story, and to this present moment.

Where I was just told there is a $1,300 bill waiting for me (which was something I expected to come in at $500ish), add to this I am craving something sweet due to being 6 days into a 28 day no sugar diet, and also that I am starting my new business (read: I am un-employed until I can make this entrepreneur thing work!).

So what did I do?

  • Yes I could have yelled at the guy on the phone? But what's the point.  It's not their fault, and they just fixed my car.  The cost is what it is.
  • Yes I could get angry at the panel beater? Maybe they took it joy riding?  But it's done now and they lent me their car the entire time?
  • and, Yes I could have crawled back into bed and avoided the world (to be honest, it crossed my mind!).

But what does that fix?

INSTEAD here is what I did.

(I do not say any of this to brag.  I simply say it to help you make the right decisions in the face of adversity...which is when they're most needed.)

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  • I immediately jumped on Australian Working Dog Rescue Australia and made a generous donation (at least for me).  I love my dog, Basil (a rescue dog), and if I could adopt more working dogs like him, I would..But I can't at the moment so a donation is the next best thing!
  • I got to work writing this article which is going to help share ways for you to overcome unfortunate incidents for others and in-turn increase my profile.
  • I made contact with 3 people who I had quotes with this week so see if there is anything else I can help them with and help them reach their goals faster?
  • I prepared a black coffee and decided that I would go blow off some steam in my weight room after writing this very article.

The key is to turn the negatives into positives where you can increase your value to the world.

Next time you're faced with adversity, don't wallow in your sorrows.

Get up and push back.

That's what leaders do.

 

Hayden

P.S.  Do you have a situation you wish you'd dealt with better? Leave a comment below and be prepared for next time (studies show that by having a plan of attack, you're much more likely to follow it).