Our attention this week in the U.S. focuses on celebrating the life and accomplishments of noted civil rights leader, Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Dr. King positively led a movement in the midst of much adversity.

What can you learn from him about how you can positively lead in business while experiencing adversity?

Dr. King’s example gives us these 3 positive ways to lead in adversity:

Expect Adversity
Adversity is the companion of rapid change. Dr. King understood that in order to create social change, he would encounter adversity. He anticipated few if any positive receptions where he shared his message. And yet he stayed steadfastly focused on the vision of his dream, filtering out the negative adversity along the way.

Expect the negative world to respond with adversity as you positively lead your business to adapt to change and fulfill its vision. Whether you’re manufacturing, selling, or insuring widgets, anticipate adversity—obstacles, barriers, negative-speak. Adversity happens to us all. Expect it.

Engage Adversity
Like all of us, Dr. King encountered our classic, human response to adversity: fight or flight when positively leading change. And yet he chose neither, opting instead for meaningful conversations. He engaged the adversity and asked, “What can I learn?”

As you encounter adversity, avoid returning it or running from it. You’ll just be bloody and breathless. Instead, simply ask: “What can I learn?”

Your customers and clients will tell you everything you need to know to sell them…if you’re listening. Your employees and team members have the solutions to those problems…if you’re listening. Your supplier or vendor knows best practices others like you are implementing…if you’re listening.

Increasing sales with greater productivity comes from engaging adversity in a position of, “What can I learn?” coupled with active listening.

Endure Adversity
There were many nights when Dr. King wanted to give up, especially with constant death threats. Yet he endured the adversity and fulfills his dream a little more daily, even decades later.

Perseverance is a hallmark of positive leaders. In business, you open the doors another day regardless. You make one more sales call. You do what others consider impossible.

Such endurance leaves a legacy. The change is effective, not just in your lifetime, but in your children’s and grandchildren’s. Your business provides jobs for other families. You leave them financial security or hope or a myriad of positive attributes that will inspire them to positively lead in adversity when their time comes.

Expect adversity as everyone encounters it.

Engage adversity asking, “What can I learn?”

Endure adversity and leave a legacy of positive leadership like Dr. King as you Work Positive in a negative world.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), Work Positive coach, & speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they leave the office earlier to do what they love with those they love. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org.