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Choose your response

Choose your response

Is there an upside to the current health crisis? Can we find a silver lining in this dark cloud? I say each individual can use this challenging time as a test of their ability to choose their response to adverse circumstances.

Victor Frankl shared his concept of Logotherapy in his bestselling book, Man’s Search for Meaning. He conceived of his concepts prior to being taken to a concentration camp. During his incarceration, he observed how people either succumbed to the circumstances or retained their ability to choose. Frankl was one of the people who chose his response to a nightmarish environment.

Frankl, and others who have survived much worse than we are enduring today, discovered courage when others succumbed to external pressures. He proves, like others who have survived wars, imprisonment, losses of loved ones, and more, that learning moments can come even in worst of times. The ability to shine can appear in those dark times. It means making a conscious choice even when it feels like choices are being made for you.

Logotherapy is the desire to find meaning in life, regardless of the situation. Frankl asserted that the only real human freedom you have is to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. The events of the day provide you the opportunity to exercise that freedom.

The thing I believe you can do as a business leader and sales professional is focus less on your fears and tap into the world of others. Choose sales leadership. Sales leadership means helping other people get what they want. Choose to pick up the phone and contact your business associates, vendors, and customers alike. Do so without agenda and expectation of personal gain. Listen to the fears and concerns of others around you. If there is business to be conducted, do so gently and with the intention of taking time to hear the emotions, not merely the words, of others around you.

The upside of the times is that your customers are available. They are likely feeling the same separation anxiety as you. Choose to reach out and understand their business and personal challenges. Discover what the future holds for your clients as a means to build a pipeline of future opportunities. More importantly, choose to discover the ways in which you might be able to help them succeed in the future.

Lots of people have been saying “everything will be different” after the current crisis is over. This is a prediction for a new worldview, but does it need to affect your personal view? Will “everything” be different? Will you be different? Maybe yes…maybe no. If your current business intention is to help your clients succeed, then there is no reason to change. If your current business intention is to figure out how to survive and gain wealth in these, or any, times, then you might need to rethink your motivations.

Choose a response to help other people succeed regardless of personal gains you may achieve. Make your interactions and dialogues entirely focused on the success of others. If you are able to reduce your expectation for personal gain and increase your intention to help others succeed, you will get the results and things you need with ease.

“Everything” in our world might change for others…but I intend to remain the same. It is an intended response I recommend highly. This crisis of today presents a powerful lesson in the power of personal choice. Choose to be an authentic, caring, and stoic leader in these times and the future. The things that happen around you do not need to dictate the things that happen inside you.


Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders, is a premier sales trainer in the building materials industry. His latest book, Sales Economics: The Science of Selling, is now available at buildingleaders.com. Rick can be reached at rickdavis@buildingleaders.com