Looking for the silver lining inside the cloud

Today I read two blog posts that struck me as being similar insofar as each discussed how something seemingly negative could have a positive impact.  The first was Whitney Johnson’s piece on why she was glad Sheryl Sandberg is not on the board of Facebook.  My reaction in the past has been how sad it is that Facebook has no women on the board- not even Sandberg.  Johnson’s perspective turned it around by suggesting that if Sandberg did have a seat on the board, she might not be as aware of the barriers faced by women since she has been able to overcome most of them.  As it now exists, it’s likely that her becoming such an advocate in behalf of women is the positive outcome of her having been denied that one element of success- despite all her accomplishments.

The second article, by Dave Logan, was “Look to Weaknesses for Your Leadership Strengths“.  He believes disabilities like dyslexia, Aspergers,ADHD or mood disorders can and should be leveraged to the person’s advantage.  Although he doesn’t use this example, I remember reading that Richard Branson felt ADHD had contributed to his success by making him become aware of a variety of different opportunities.  [By the way- he is dyslexic too– which is why he dropped out of school at 15]. And James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader), developed that magnificent voice in part by working to overcome his stuttering.

I started by saying the two pieces are different but the overall theme is the same.  Where some see only challenges, other see opportunity.  That’s a great lesson for personal success regardless of your chosen path. Keep your eyes open for the silver lining…