Finding Solid Ground When the World Is Coming Apart

Jul 26, 2021


In their book Strengths-Based Leadership, authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie share Gallup's ground-breaking study about what we need most from leaders. Along with trust, compassion, and hope, we yearn for stability.

If we don't know who and what we can count on, how can we feel safe? If we don't know what is expected of us, how do we move forward?

It's especially important to find stability when the world seems to be cracking open beneath us. We may not always find comfort in our leaders but we have sources from within that can give us grounding and guidance when we need it most.

Ground Yourself in What is Still True

One of the first things I work through with leaders and companies in the midst of crisis or a challenging transition is the THRIVE model. We identify their Talents, Home Team, Relationships, Impact, Values, and Experiences.

By naming and claiming what’s still stable, life-giving, true, and reliable at the onset of a crisis, we know exactly what resources we need to turn to for energy and support. 

They show you exactly what you may be taking for granted in your normal life, and show you what you can lean on with renewed gratitude. The THRIVE model shows you the good things in your life - the things you can always count on - and the truths that will remain during and after a crisis. They show you what to invest in – in good times or bad. 

Talents: The unique, natural gifts you’ve developed over your lifetime that bring joy, ease, and excellence

Home Team: The people and resources (mentors, coaches, counselors, and confidants) who can provide expertise and guidance when you need a lifeline

Relationships: The people you love and who love you; they have your back, want you to succeed, and make you know that you belong

Impact: The influence and contribution you make to your family, workplace, and broader community

Values: The anchoring principles, beliefs, and convictions that give your life depth and direction

Experiences: Milestones from your life journey so far – peak experiences, roadblocks, detours, and destinations that give you perspective, resilience, and wisdom

From Surviving to Thriving

I learned during our family's experience with heartache that whatever is good and true before a tragedy (for me, a strong marriage, faith community, meaningful work) will save your life during and after a tragedy. I was grateful for these sources of joy and strength before my world was shaken, but I clung to them for survival when the bottom fell out.

As you seek out solid ground when life gets rocky, take a closer look at the THRIVE foundations. Not only will they stabilize you during a crisis, they will uplift you as you find ways to thrive beyond your current circumstance. 

You’ll be reminded that you are braver than you know, more resilient than you feel, and even amongst the rubble, there is more still standing than what meets the eye.

This is a modified re-telling of a few pages from Chapter 3 of my book Never Waste a Crisis. The rest of that chapter dives into each of the THRIVE elements and how each can be a lifeline in crisis.


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