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From Hard to Hearty

One of the consequences of the bankruptcies that are occurring within the supplier community at what can be described—with a certain amount of understatement—as an "alarming rate" is the fact that this isn't simply about the finances of the organizations, but about the people in those companies.

One of the consequences of the bankruptcies that are occurring within the supplier community at what can be described—with a certain amount of understatement—as an "alarming rate" is the fact that this isn't simply about the finances of the organizations, but about the people in those companies. People who have committed themselves to the companies only to discover, as things unfold, that this commitment may be not as valuable as they'd hoped. As pressures rise on these individuals, there can be some untoward consequences for them and their families. There may be a tendency for someone to say, "I'm keeping my head down" so as not to call attention to one's self, hoping that they'll be spared the ax. There may be health problems and family disputes arising from the pressure of the day-to-day uncertainties. It can be quite disturbing and awful.

However, Salvatore R. Maddi and Deborah M. Khoshaba have an alternative. They counsel resilience, or hardiness, the ability to deal with untoward circumstances fully and forthrightly. They describe the "3Cs of commitment, control, and challenge," explaining, "If you are strong in the 3Cs, you believe that, as times get tough, it is best for you to stay involved with the people and events around you (commitment) rather than to pull out, to keep trying to influence the outcomes in which you are involved (control) rather than to give up, and to try to discover how you and others can grow through the stress (challenge) rather than to bemoan your fate."

Yes, this is a self-help book, one that deals with what is often dismissed as the "touchy-feely" aspects of work life. As the publisher of the book is the American Management Association, it is fairly evident that this is a book that is meant to help people—managers, executives, engineers, hourly workers, etc.—do a better job on the job. And, by extension, in their family and social lives, as well. Arguably, someone who is undergoing the stress associated with one's firm going into Chapter 11 (or worse) is unlikely to want to sit down and crack open a book. However, given that most of us aren't schooled or trained to deal with these demanding circumstances, we have to start somewhere rather than merely hunkering down and/or lashing out, and Resilience At Work is a good place to begin.—GSV