Turning Tragedy Into Strategy

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Turning Tragedy Into Strategy

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You were overlooked for the promotion, your sales presentation bombed, or your team blew it in the final hours of a highly visible project. That page in your book of life is over. It is time to turn it.

Dedicated business team having a discussion

Can you turn tragedy into a new strategy?

Once in a while we have one of those days, a day when everything feels like it is falling apart. It might be on the job, off the job, at the store, or driving in your car when suddenly you’re hit with a bold realization that life just got worse. But did it?


Perhaps one of the most important things for conditioning our mind-set is to realize that life is made up of a lot of moments. Sometimes a moment might make you realize that you’ve just made a wrong turn, other times it might positively reinforce something that you have been stressing over for too long, but in nearly all cases a moment will contribute to defining who you are.

You, not someone else, should condition that definition.

One problem that many people often blindly walk into is that they place more emphasis on the moment something went wrong as compared to the moment they did something great. Our mind is extremely powerful at protecting us.

Touch a hot oven and we quickly learn not to do it again, our mind will remind us (hopefully) for years to come. Once in a while we might slip up, but for the most part we become conscious of the danger and we make sure it won’t happen again.

Every learning experience is not a hot oven, unless you make it become one.

Positive Strategies

Many issues that we encounter on the job or in our professional career become flagged as a place to never to go to again. Of course this can be helpful, we don’t want to make mistakes, but too often we dwell so much on an error, a mistake, or a circumstance where we came up short that it inhibits our ability to achieve more.

Striving for excellence and working towards perfection, are both admirable goals, but you can’t always be so hard on yourself. Making a mistake doesn’t mean it is time to stop, time to give in or give up. Taking a wrong turn shouldn’t result in a future self-limiting belief. You’re better than that.


A career is a long time, some might be near the start, some closer to the finish, but if you are consciously striving to keep moving, doing more, accomplishing more, and becoming more, you will arrive. This should be your strategy, to arrive, not to dwell on a circumstance that you’ve labeled as a tragedy. Your focus must be on strategy.

You won’t be able to avoid it. There really is no question about it. It will happen.

You will arrive.

The best question then becomes, arrive where?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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