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The Road to Resilience: Setbacks & Recoveries

Updated: Jul 4, 2018


In this constantly changing world, setbacks are part and parcel of every journey. At Astley Media we are constantly working to celebrate our successes, and overcome the difficulties; but what can we learn from other inspiring businesses and individuals?


We talked to our extraordinary speakers and event partners, ahead of our ‘Road to Resilience’ event, about facing challenges and learning from mistakes.


Polar Explorer and world record holder Ann Daniels faced incredible difficulties in her 2002 expedition to the North Pole: “The setbacks and difficulties we faced were too huge to imagine... carbon monoxide poisoning, frost bite, ice cracking under our tents.”


Ann continued: “Mental toughness helps you to overcome those setbacks and use what you have learnt to do better next time. Life isn’t a smooth path and there will be times when things don’t go to plan, that’s when real toughness comes into it’s own. Pick yourself up and start again or move on to another challenge. That’s what makes life interesting and ultimately rewarding.”


Phil Sampson, former Royal Marine and founder of Sampson Hall, believes that seeing a setback as a challenge “contributes to an organisation’s continuous improvement”.


He shares his belief that setbacks give people the chance to work on creative solutions, and are “key to that journey’s ultimate success”, underlining how setbacks provide us with unique learning opportunities. They are, in fact, crucial to the growth of a business and the building of a resilient team.


Mark Peberdy at LeapFrog Animation agrees with Phil. When setbacks happen you should continue striving for success, instead of fearing failure: “I would much rather someone try something out to overcome a problem and present me with a potential solution rather than just a problem” says Mark.


As well as taking lessons from your mistakes, Robert Camp, Managing Partner at Stephens Scown, the main sponsor for ‘Road to Resilience’, explained how positivity and inspiration is crucial to building a strong team. He highlighted the importance of celebrating success and giving “constant praise and encouragement to all members of the team”.


He adds: “you need to learn from setbacks in a ‘no blame’ and constructive way. Indeed, you can only move on and be more successful if you are prepared to analyse your mistakes in an open and blameless culture and make the necessary changes to try and ensure the same thing does not happen again.”


The idea, that you should view setbacks as opportunities, is shared by Rob Hitchings, owner of Nomadic Travel, who motivates his team to see setbacks “as inevitable events rather than something to be worried about.” Ginny at Virginia’s Vintage Hire has an equally positive outlook, revealing that her advice to her team is to “deal with it, learn from it and move on.”


In addition to viewing setbacks as inevitable and opportunities for improvement, our event partners and speakers are unanimous that team support and unity is critical to overcoming setbacks.


Premiership rugby player Gareth Steenson sums it up perfectly, when he says, “ As a team, if you are all confident about what you are trying to acheive, it allows you to be positive with one another and drive yourself forward.”


Gareth continues “You have a game plan and you have to trust what the game plan is, it’s about following that through, especially when times are tough.”


Ann Daniels Gareth Steenson, Phil Sampson and Robert Camp will be speaking at ‘The ‘Road to Resilience’ event, at Exeter’s RAMM on 5 October.