Leader Volume 10, Number 2
Stoltz is president and CEO of PEAK Learning, Inc., a consulting
and research firm in San Luis Obispo, CA.
. He is author of Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities (Wiley, New
York, 1997) and Adversity
Quotient@Work (Morrow, New York, 2000).
How many adverse
events do you experience on your average day?
Are you consumed by these events or are you letting them
lead to stronger performance?
I developed the Adversity Quotient (AQ) to test the
unconscious pattern of how people respond to adversity, and show
how to increase it and, thereby, help individuals become valuable
following events as if they were happening right now.
Then circle the number that represents your answer to each
of the related questions.
You suffer a
overlooked for a promotion.
criticized for a big project that you just completed.
delete an important email.
project you are working on gets canceled.
respect ignores your attempt to discuss an important issue.
unfavorably to your latest ideas.
You are unable to
take a much-needed vacation.
You hit every red
light on your way to an important appointment.
searching, you cannot find an important document.
You workplace is
You miss an
You personal and
work obligations are out of balance.
You never seem to
have enough money.
You are not
exercising regularly though you know you should.
is not meeting its goals.
crashed for the third time this week.
The meeting you
are in is a total waste of time.
something that is important to you.
adamantly disagrees with your decision.
Your AQ response
is comprised of four CORE dimensions.
Understanding them is the first step toward improving your
response to adversity, expanding your capacity, and, ultimately,
increasing your overall AQ.
Insert each of
the 20 numbers you circled on the Adversity Response Profile in
the corresponding boxes that appear below.
Then insert the total for each column in the corresponding
box. Add the four totals and then multiply that number by two for
your final score.
1. ___ 2.
7. ___ 6.
Total C =___
Total O =___ Total R =___ Total
Total C+O+R+E x 2
= ARP Score =________
The average ARP
score is 147.5. What’s
your score? The
higher the better.
Now, look at your
CORE breakdown and determine which aspects of the AQ you need to
what extent can you influence the situation?
much control do you perceive you have?
Those with higher
AQs perceive they have significantly more control and influence in
adverse situations than do those with lower AQs.
Even in situations that appear overwhelming or out of their
hands, those with higher AQs find some facet of the situation they
can influence. Those
with lower AQs respond as if they have little or no control and
often give up.
what extent do you hold yourself responsible for improving this
what extent are you accountable to play some role in making it
the backbone of action. Those
with higher AQs hold themselves accountable for dealing with
situations regardless of their cause.
Those with lower AQs deflect accountability and most often
feel victimized and helpless.
far does the fallout of this situation reach into other areas of
your work or life?
what extent does the adversity extend beyond the situation at
fallout under control and limiting the reach of adversity is
essential for efficient and effective problem solving.
Those with higher AQs keep setbacks and challenges in their
place, not letting them infest the healthy areas of their work and
lives. Those with
lower AQs tend to catastrophize, allowing a setback in one area to
bleed into other, unrelated areas and become destructive.
long will the adversity endure?
even enormous difficulties is an essential skill for maintaining
hope. Those with
higher AQs have the uncanny ability to see past the most
interminable difficulties and maintain hope and optimism.
Those with lower AQs see adversity as dragging on
indefinitely, if not permanently.