Setback Or Opportunity? You Decide

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There is always some opportunity hidden in setbacks, don’t believe me. Read on. Our latest experience is a testimony to this.

After a year of home confinement, an opportunity to travel due to the COVID lockdown had to be incredibly special.

We chose the Maldives as a destination of choice for many reasons.

Firstly, it was close to India, especially from Hyderabad, where we stay at present. It was just about 2 hours 30 minutes direct flight to Male International Airport. Secondly, the safety standards are much higher than any other destinations, thanks to the unique topography of this string of pearls-shaped island nations. Thirdly, we wanted to gift this trip to our daughter, a huge beach bum whose dream destination is the Maldives.

When my friend, Afeef Hussain, the President of Maldives Association of HR Professionals and the Regional Director of Training, Development, and Quality Assurance of LUX* Resorts and hotels, came to know about this, he came forward to make this trip an exceptional one.

All he wanted me to do was to train his team on the nuances of Setback Leadership. It was a win-win for both of us. Afeef found an excellent opportunity to coach his already incredible team by me physically, and I loved the proposition of taking another working holiday that I am a massive fan of as a speaker.

We were scheduled to stay at the LUX* South Ari Atoll for a week and train Afeef’s team at the resort. Things seemed quite exciting, and we were looking forward to the trip.

That’s When the First Setback Hit!

Unfortunately, LUX* South Ari Atoll had to be closed for more than a month due to an unexpected COVID outbreak. Just two weeks before our trip, we came to know that our trip was at stake! It was a significant setback.

We were wondering what do we do now? Our daughter was already preparing for her much-awaited Goa trip (Destination Maldives was a surprise to her), and we couldn’t even tell this situation to anyone openly.

That’s when Afeef came to our rescue. He was determined to make it memorable for our daughter. He sprang into action to make sure our trip wasn’t cancelled because of this setback, and we could still travel safely and enjoyed our time in his beautiful country.

I wanted to have a good vacation indeed, but I was keener on the physical speaking session. After all, this was happening after a long wait of a year. More so, I was worried about the team LUX* South Ari Atoll.

We had multiple conversations, multiple permutations, and combinations to mitigate this setback and develop the most suitable solution for everyone.

Did we manage to find the perfect solution? What do you think?

Afeef booked us in their other property, LUX* North Male Atoll, a newer property that had opened only in 2019. Also, my training schedule was kept intact too. Instead of training the LUX* South Staff, I would be speaking to the LUX* North staff.

Things worked out well and good eventually, and we traveled.

How the Second Setback Hit!

Once we reached LUX* North Male Atoll, I wanted to inspect the venue. We realized that the location that was supposed to be allocated for our training wasn’t free on the scheduled dates due to some unavoidable reasons. So, we quickly decided to move the dates around. I was anyway going to be there for a week, so it didn’t matter.

And the Third Setback Came Our Way.

However, just the evening before the session, I came to know we hit our third setback. A few team members of LUX* North had tested COVID positive too. Oh no! Not again. We thought.

Fortunately, we focused on the best possible solution instead of sulking on the problem. The ever-so-friendly Training Manager of LUX* North Siraj Ahmed and Afeef decided to postpone the physical training for another time.

Though we were all disappointed about it, this was the right thing to do. Wasn’t this a significant heart-breaking setback? Sure, it was.

But it also presented us with an opportunity to turn a working holiday into a complete holiday. Also, it allowed me to bond with the LUX* North Team one-to-one, building some life-long friendships.

After a rejuvenating, relaxing, and refreshing seven days, we returned with a promise to come back soon to train the team once the situation gets better. Also, to keep in touch with both the teams and do some virtual sessions for the groups.

As they say, all’s well that ends well. I would take a few steps ahead and say that every ending is the beginning of something even more beautiful. This trip to the Maldives did open many new facets for me, some great new friendships, and brilliant experiences.

How do you deal with setbacks in your life? Do you see opportunity in every challenge or see a challenge in every possibility?

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Author | Professional Speaker