How Great Leaders Respond to Adversity

Hand stopping domino effect of wooden blocks

“Every one of us has the ability to be a servant leader.”

In season 25, episode 9, we are joined by Damon West.  He is the author of The Coffee Bean and The Change Agent. You can learn more about him.


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Every person whether you want it or not has faced adversity. The current pandemic is a great example of adversity that no one asked for or expected. Damon West, the author of The Coffee Bean shared a phenomenal example of the three basic responses to adversity.

Adversity is a lot like a pot of boiling water. If you put a carrot in a pot of boiling water, it turns soft. You don’t want to be the carrot when adversity happens. If you place an egg in the boiling water, it turns hard. You don’t want to be the egg when adversity happens. If you put coffee beans in boiling water, you have to change the name of it to coffee. What you want to be is a coffee bean when adversity happens because you will be positive and attract the right things into your life.

The question you want to answer today is what are you going to choose to be in the face of adversity:

  • A carrot
  • An egg 
  • A coffee bean

Quotes to Remember

“Great leaders use vulnerability and authenticity in the way they lead.”

“If you’re going to pray don’t worry, if you’re going to worry don’t pray.”

“God put in front of me what you need me to do today for you and let me recognize it when I see it.”

You control four things in life; what you think, say, feel, and what you do.”

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company making virtual training easy and effective. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of  Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.