We’ve explored why adaptive work generates heat and resistance, the forms of danger this resistance takes, and how to respond. But taking action to manage political relationships, orchestrate the conflict, or give back the work assumes that you are able to meet a more basic challenge—maintaining your poise so that you can plan the best next step. Holding steady in the heat of action is an essential skill for staying alive and keeping people focused on the work. The pressure on you may be almost unbearable, causing you to doubt both your own capacities and your direction. If you waver or act prematurely, your initiative can be lost in an instant.
Learning to take the heat and receive people’s ...