When the Heat’s On, How Do You Deal with Adversity?

Kathy Rapp Coaching, Employee Relations, Good HR, HR & Sports, Kathy Rapp, Leadership, Sports

“The heat is on, the heat is on

The heat is on, it’s on the street

The heat is on.”

I’m guessing Glenn Frey’s song and Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” were in prime rotation in the 4th quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat.  In case you missed it, the AC died at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, resulting in frustration, cramps and some pretty awesome jokes and Twitter feeds! For example: @Gatorade With a game this hot, we’re right at home. #WinFromWithin #NBAFinals and The person cramping wasn’t our client. Our athletes can take the heat.

The pressure cooker that already was “The NBA Finals” got even more heated with temps hitting 90 degrees. Some complained. Some left. Some bucked up and dealt with the adversity.

In the world of HR, we face hot scenarios all too often. Elevated ER issues. Someone added another zero to the payroll. The union’s knocking on the plant door. Your best employee just resigned to go to a competitor.

My advice? Respond—don’t react.

When you choose to respond, you remain in control. You can focus on the solution to the problem versus getting caught up in the problem itself.

I know it’s tough. If the employee you’ve invested time, money and energy in blows you off for your archenemy/competitor, well of course you want to curse, spit and probably cry. Then you attempt to self-destruct by looking inward and wondering what you did wrong? How could this be happening to YOU?!

But really, all of that emotion is wasted energy. The dude is gone—and probably has been gone for the last 6 weeks as he was interviewing. In this scenario, your response is what matters. While the “Why are you leaving?” is important, the “What are we going to do next?” is where you need to focus your time.

LeBron left the game with less than 4 minutes left and 2 points behind the Spurs.

“I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But at the same time we still had an opportunity.”

Spoelstra did not use the temperature as an excuse as to why they lost the game. He could have. He also could have insisted LeBron get back in the game, but he didn’t. His cool-headed response to an adverse situation won him points in the long-term, even if the Heat lost the game.

Kathy Rapp

Kathy Rapp is the CEO of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or project roles across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.