Where does adversity fit in a business?

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Adversity is something we have all come to face in varying degrees at some point or another. But where does it fit into a business?

Todd Millar, chief executive officer of TEC Canada, based at Calgary, Alta., says how we tackle adversity in a business — and no matter the business, there’s going to be adversity — is what makes or breaks us.

It all comes down to finding the line between positive and negative adversity — the difference between character building and opportunities, and realizing that maybe a certain position or industry you are in is no longer a fit for you.

As well, it’s key to acknowledge the differences type of adversity, and not just economic adversity. In agriculture, we’re constantly faced with familial, cultural, and political adversity, but also weather uncertainty and challenges.

“Getting away from the day-to-day business, whatever that business is, and being around like-minded individuals to have conversations and think a little bit differently,” he explains. “Take that that one step further. How do you find a place where you can go and have even more diversity, for challenging yourself and challenging others? I do think that’s part of our purpose in life is supporting you as much as you’re supporting me.

“You go to events, you go to activities, because you’re looking for what you are faced with in the biggest way, whether it’s under the terminology of adversity, or an attitude issue,” Millar says.

It’s understandable that people avoid adversity when it arrives in the form of conflict. But Millar says there’s destructive conflict and there’s constructive conflict. “My encouragement to you would be to say, look, I’m going to be 100 per cent, engaging in a constructive conflict environment,” he says, and not get stuck in “Niceville.”

For the full discussion on embracing adversity, recorded at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, listen below or download for later: 

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