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142: The Adversity Quotient

Colin Higginbottom  |  Marketplace Coach

Video Transcript

We are in our Flow Series talking this week around extreme ownership.

A few years ago I read a book called Adversity Quotient and it talked about how high level leaders in every sphere and every industry have one component in their life in common and it’s called a “High adversity quotient.” In fact, in this book it determined that a high IQ doesn’t necessarily translate to high levels of success, but a high AQ, or adversity quotient, does. In extreme ownership, you have to develop a high AQ.

In this book it talks about three different types of people and their response when they face adversity. The first is the quitter, the second is the camper, and the third is the climber. Obviously when adversity comes quitters, yes, quit, campers plateau, and climbers ascend.

If I were to be honest with you, I’ve always wanted to be a climber, but most of my life or a good portion of my life, I was probably either a quitter or a camper. And it started, believe it or not, when I was 11 years old. I had tried out for a select soccer team in my city and I thought at the time I was a really good player. In fact, I still believe I was. But there’s a lot of good players trying out for high level sports teams, and for whatever reason, this team. I was the last kid cut. I wish I could say I went home and processed it through the lens of a climber and said, “All right, I’m going to try harder, train harder, believe in myself, get up, and go again.”

Well, that’s not what happened in my life.

It set in motion, a season of quitting and camping that lasted longer than a decade. And so when adversity came, what happened is I had trained myself through defense mechanisms, fear of failure, and need for approval. That if it was hard, I didn’t want to give 100% because I was afraid I might fail.
I think a lot of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, might have had a traumatic event or a series of events that keep us from really going all in and owning what’s in front of us. Maybe we’re quitting when the going gets tough. Maybe we’re plateauing when it takes a lot to go to the next level. I think it’s really important if we’re going to take extreme ownership, that we realize where we are as we face the adversities that are in front of us.
In the next session, I’m going to talk around one of the moments that brought massive shift and transformed me from a quitter and a camper into a climber.

Remember, pathfinders, we’re not here just to make a living. We’re here to make a difference.

Have a great week. 
God bless.