Triumph in the Trials: Finding Resilience in the Tough Times to Forge Our Greatest Victories
In life and in business, the BIGGEST wins often occur when we overcome the BIGGEST obstacles. And while COVID taught us that no one can predict the future, you don’t need a Crystal Ball to predict that 2024 could be a very challenging year for CEOs. The world is still unsettled. U.S. politics are about to get even more contentious. Supply chain disruptions and high interest rates are affecting normal commerce. And the pressures that these and other unknown variables will put on your business will also stress test your sense of personal balance.
To help CEOs weather these inevitable storms, we’re featuring “Build Resiliency During Uncertain Times” as one of the Four Groundbreaking Event Themes at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit, April 26-27 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel. The strategies we’ll discuss for unlocking resilience will help you face challenges with an eye toward growth, innovation, and self-discovery that could accelerate your march toward BIG, no matter what 2024 has in store.
1. Have a higher purpose than profit.
Money has its limitations as a motivator. When times are good, seeing their companies in the black can make CEOs complacent. When the company is struggling, the need to maintain a bottom line can make CEOs feel more like an accountant crossed with a firefighter than a business leader. At their lowest, profit-driven CEOs might turn to options that are easier for them but not as beneficial for the business: racing competitors to the bottom of the bargain bin, a quick sale to a larger company, or even just closing up shop.
Your company’s purpose can be a guiding light during those dark moments. Instead of focusing on how many widgets you have to sell, focus on the impact your company has on its employees, customers, and wider community. The actionable, measurable processes that drive up those end outcomes can energize all of your best practices and inspire your best people to do their best work.
And as your animating purpose or mission helps you push through challenges, it might also lead you to a better, more resilient version of your company — and yourself — on the other side.
2024 Summit speaker Britnie Turner grew Aerial into a multimillion-dollar real estate company by the time she turned 30. But once she redefined her “triple bottom line” as People, Planet, and Prosperity, Aerial truly lifted off. Today, Britnie oversees multiple companies under the Aerial banner that spread her mission across the globe, including healing and repurposing military veterans with her husband, retired Green Beret Jeremy Locke.
“Undercover Billionaire” star Glenn Stearns will also be sharing his story of resilience at the 2024 Summit. Glenn grew up dyslexic in an alcoholic household and graduated at the bottom of his high school class. Early mentorship helped him build resilience, turn his life around, and find purpose in the lending industry. Glenn credits the success of his billion-dollar mortgage company, Stearns Lending, to putting “people before profit,” a philosophy he also put into action on his TV show and numerous charitable enterprises.
2. Adapt and take risks.
Challenges can be paralyzing to companies that are too set in their ways or too unimaginative to see what’s coming next. COVID, of course, was a case study in what happens to companies that are unable or unwilling to change. But even in lower-pressure moments, CEOs have to have an eye out for potential opportunities and disruptions. This is where resiliency can be a proactive super power for CEOs: if you know you have it in you to bounce back if something goes wrong, you’ll be much more willing to take chances.
Henry McGovern’s life and career has taken several twists and turns toward BIG. As a young medical student, he started working in real estate to pay his bills. His side hustle was so successful that he switched to real estate full-time and moved to Poland. After opening several restaurants in Europe, Henry founded AmRest, a leading restaurant operator of quick service and casual dining concepts valued at over $3 billion since its IPO.
In a few short years, Henry evolved from doctor-in-training to real estate mogul to restauranteur, and the companies he founded changed with him.
Whether you’re preparing to take a leap or pivoting around a crisis, remember that change is inevitable. The most successful CEOs harness their resilience to transform potential pitfalls into stepping stones toward personal and professional fulfillment.
3. Learn, reflect, and move forward.
Sometimes business success isn’t as clear-cut as “winning” and “losing.” Resilience can mean the difference between settling for a less-than-satisfactory outcome or pushing yourself to new heights.
In his 20s, Rob Follows was living just about every entrepreneur’s dream: he sold his marketing and strategy business for 27x EBITDA. But then he discovered that BIG could have been even BIGGER: the buyer had been willing to pay 300% more for Rob’s company.
A less-resilient business person might have shrugged, cashed in their chips, and started planning an early retirement. But it wasn’t just money that was motivating Rob. He thought about what kind of charitable impact he could have made with that 300%, and, knowing what he knew now, what he would have done differently to get to that BIGGER win.
So Rob took everything that he learned from starting his company through his still-successful exit and started a unique new M&A firm, STS Capital Partners, that helps CEOs achieve “Extraordinary Exits.” Rob also set his sights on some extraordinary personal goals, like summiting Mr. Everest with his wife — becoming the first amateur couple to achieve that feat in 2006.
It takes a lot of humility to admit when you’ve fallen short as a leader. But learning from mistakes can be a transformative experience, especially if you surround yourself with mentors, peers, and coaches who have made it through similar experiences and are willing to share their wisdom to help you keep growing.
That’s the kind of empowering community we’re planning to showcase at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit. Join us in Miami this April and let’s learn together how the best of the best face challenges, build resilience, and Make BIG Happen.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.