By Missy Jackson, Managing Partner

During this turbulent and disruptive time in our history, we will be faced with many decisions on how to move forward. Whether evaluating next steps as individuals, leaders or looking at existing business models and offerings, the way we define our opportunities to move forward should go through a similar approach. Taking a look at our strengths, weaknesses and uncovering new or previously unseen realities will position you for the ultimate decision.

Will you choose to make diamonds from the dust or just sweep it all away? You need to unleash resilience and evaluate your options for moving forward. To dig deep and build resilience, there are three key considerations that will help focus your thoughts and efforts.

Naming your strengths

It’s important to give yourself room to pause and reflect inward.  Ask yourself, what are the skills, competencies, capabilities and experiences that you use to get through each hour, day, week or month?  What rises to the top as an asset? Understanding those areas of strength provides great insight into who you are as an individual, leader or business.

Are there strengths that you are newly aware of?  Are there strengths that you knew of and were reconfirmed?  What are your strengths and what makes them an asset during these unprecedented times?

As important as it is to look inward to identify strengths of ourselves and business, it is just as crucial we take time to look outward at our relationships, customers and experiences in the same way.  What are the relationships, customers and experiences that rose to the top as bright spots, sources of strength and assets to you and your business? Naming your strengths outwardly will help you focus your efforts as you move forward. What do these strengths look like?  Is it a diversified client base?  Is it wise and trustworthy confidants and advisors? Where do you draw strength from?

Naming your weaknesses

Highlighting areas of weakness is not something many of us like to focus on, but it can be just as important of a step as highlighting our strengths. Looking inward at areas of weakness across skills, competencies, capabilities and past experiences will help you determine what may be holding you, your team or business back.  Where have you struggled? Where have you failed to deliver what you and your team needed?  What limits your opportunities?

Again, turning your sights outward to gain perspective on what relationships, customers and experiences create areas of weakness is crucial to gaining a clear picture of our limitations.

What puts you, your team or business at risk?  Where do you feel pain?  Do you have too many eggs in the same basket? Naming your weakness outwardly will help you focus your efforts as you move forward.

Naming what survives as opportunity

After looking inward and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, challenge yourself to think through how to market your strengths both as an individual and as a business. Should you double down on your areas of strength? Ask yourself if you should invest in your areas of weakness to develop them into strengths or at least mitigate them as a weakness.  Are there things that you should stop or limit doing as you move forward?

When looking outward, some of your customers may not survive or are barely holding on.  Some of your product lines or targeted markets may not be viable or relevant on the other side of this pandemic.  Yet, new opportunities to evolve or redefine may have surfaced.  Where should you set your focus for the future?  What should you stop doing?

What we do with this new level of understanding will determine if you create diamonds from the dust or are reaching for the broom to sweep it all away. When looking inward at ourselves and outward at how we and our business exists in the market, the opportunity to create beautiful new realities will likely exist.

As Simon Sinek states in his new book, “The Infinite Game”, “Resilient companies may come out the other end of upheaval entirely different than they were when they went in (and are often grateful for the transformation).”

Are you struggling to identify your strengths and weaknesses while also naming your opportunities? The Vantage Group can help.  We work with teams and executives around the world to help them focus and create clarity for their businesses. If you want help unleashing resilience in your business, contact us today at 616.676.3330 or email us at to get you started.