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Resilience in the eye of storm - Purposeful Direction

October 13, 2017

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Resilience in the eye of storm - Purposeful Direction

October 13, 2017

Resilience is a hot topic these days – and is it any wonder as the world continues to throw up major challenges to stability and we have to grapple with an environment of constant uncertainty and change?

In The Global Challenge Round The World Yacht Race, it was these dynamics that we had to learn to adapt to, and fast. Otherwise you’d be at the back of the 12 strong fleet before you knew it.


So, what made the difference for us? Well there’s no silver bullet as resilience is multi-faceted. We actually identified 8 key factors that not only kept us on the racecourse and in one piece, but also able to compete with the best in the fleet. Here’s the 1st:



So why is Purposeful Direction the 1st Resilience Factor? And what can we do to find it?


Well this is about understanding the raw power of motivation and what a powerful force it can be. It’s pretty simple – if we want something badly enough, then no matter what happens we’ll keep dusting ourselves off and moving towards it. However, if we’re going after something that really doesn’t matter to us or we’re not that brought into, then when the going gets tough it’s all too easy to give up or perform half-hearted.


Motivation can come from within – Intrinsic motivation. Or indeed from external factors – extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic might be the chance of a promotion and attaining a position of greater responsibility that we desire. Extrinsic might be the increase in pay that goes with that. If both appeal, so much the better! It gives us Purpose and a target to aim at. And for Humans that’s vital.


With that in mind, establishing our Purposeful Direction as a team was top of my list as I started to develop my team in the pre-race period. With a group of amateurs from all walks of life making up my crew, I knew that there would probably be many reasons why they were signing up. And I wasn’t wrong. Some wanted to just have a great and unique year out, others to change their lives. Several wanted to be part of a winning team. Others to just realise a dream and sail safely round the world. One just wanted to find a husband! So, whatever we were collectively going to aim at it needed to encompass all that.



So we decided to come up with a team ‘Blueprint’. A statement of what the race was all about for us. First we got clear on our ultimate Vision for the race ahead – and that was to deliver everyone’s dream (intrinsic motivation) whatever that may be. Individually, collectively and for our sponsor. Secondly we established the Goal. To be on the podium (extrinsic motivation) at the end of the race – as no one ever remembers anything after the podium. You’re either up there or you’re not. And lastly we talked about how we would get there, what overarching behaviours would be important for us to commit too. These we gathered from everyone, and then boiled them down to just three main ‘Values’. To be Safe, Happy and Fast, which were pretty hard to argue against.


Now we had Purposeful Direction – everyone could see that their reasons for taking part had been considered and that there was a strong intention to realise these. And we had a bold Team mission that just seemed so worthwhile pursuing. And that all added up to an aligned, focussed and motivated team which was exactly what we needed as the start line loomed. The first resilience factor was in place!


Top Tips To Give You And Your Team Purposeful Direction:


  1. Take the time to establish what are the key motivator factors for you, your team and your customer. What floats everyone’s boat?! It’s great to have this discussion collectively as people love to be involved in shaping direction.

  2. When setting the Vision, Goals and Values for you and your team, make sure the motivation factors are satisfied by these. If not, keep working them until they do!

  3. Extrinsic factors can be powerful – what carrot can you dangle as the prize for effort or achievement for you or others?

  4. Check for understanding. Can you clearly and consistently state what the purposeful direction is for you and your team. And do they say the same? If not take the time to get aligned so it runs through you like letters in a stick of rock!

Sign up below for further updates and videos as I share this crucial learning to keep you and your team resilient!



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Leadership in the eye of the storm

Contact  Mark

River View, Brook Avenue, Warsash, Hampshire, SO319HN

© 2017 Mark Denton/MAXVMG LTD

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