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Participant Materials

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Featuring Paul

G. Stoltz

SM

`
A cutting-edge seminar via satellite from
PBS The Business Channel
Produced by Impact Television, a division of
Jan Hirschfeld Productions, Inc.
1998 The Business Channel, L.L.C..
All Rights Reserved.

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Dear Participant
Welcome to PBS The Business Channels presentation of Adversity Quotient:
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.
Featuring Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D., a leading authority, author, and business
consultant on Adversity Quotient (AQ), this seminar will show you how an
individuals AQ is a more significant factor in achieving success than IQ, education,
or even social skills. In fact, the AQ measurement of a person or an organization
indicates the ability to prevail and succeed in the face of adversity.
As president of PEAK Learning, Inc., Paul Stoltz is in great demand as a
keynote speaker and consultant on such topics as leadership, performance, successful
selling, and overcoming adversity. He conducts AQ seminars and workshops for thousands of people each year, and his many corporate clients include Deloitte & Touche,
Motorola, Abbott Labs, and US West.
In the next two hours, Paul Stoltz will explain the underlying principles of
Adversity Quotient. Youll learn how to interpret your AQ score, how to assess the
AQ score of your organization, and how to nurture a high AQ for yourself and your
staff or colleagues.
While viewing the presentation, follow along and take notes in this
discussion guide. Most of all, be prepared to be enlightened by Paul Stoltzs clear
explanation of how you can improve your Adversity Quotient and achieve success.
You will be eager to begin implementing his strategies!

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Program outline
Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Welcome by our moderator, Megan Beyer
Part 1

Introduction to Adversity Quotient

Part 2

Ascend Mt. Success

Activity Break

Scaling Organizational Mountains

Activity Break

The Adversity Response ProfileTM

Part 3

AQs Scientific Building Blocks

Part 4

AQ and Learned Helplessness

Part 5

Four Key Facts About Facing Adversity

Part 6

AQ Definition

Part 7

The AQ Continuum
Question and answer session (15 min.)
Intermission (10 min.)

Part 8

AQ in the Workplace

Part 9

Five Warning Signals

Activity Break

Ways to Sabotage AQ

Part 10

Twelve Ways to Nurture AQ


Question and answer session (15 min.)

Part 11

Wrap Up

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

What you will learn


By participating in this seminar with Paul Stoltz you will be able to:

define Adversity Quotient

in general terms, describe the scientific research that supports the AQ theory

determine and interpret your personal AQ by completing the Adversity


Response ProfileTM

list a minimum of four warning signs that indicate an organization has a


low or moderate AQ culture

list a minimum of three techniques by which an organization sabotages or


undermines its AQ culture

assess your organizations AQ

list a minimum of twelve strategies for nurturing a high AQ culture within


an organization

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

How to get the most from this seminar


During the seminar
Participate! Contribute to the discussion using the question sheet
provided with this guide.
If you are participating in the live presentation of this program,
fax or call in your question to Paul Stoltz.
If you are taking part in an encore presentation of this program, share
your question with the site coordinator and your colleagues.

Take notes, complete the written exercises, and jot down ideas on
how you can apply todays information in your own workplace.

After the seminar


Read Paul Stoltzs book, Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into
Opportunities (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

Reread this discussion guide and review your notes.


Prepare a personal action plan detailing the steps you will take to
manage your Ascent.

Participant Evaluation

Your comments about todays seminar are greatly appreciated. At the end of the
program, please answer all questions and return this form to your site coordinator
or mail to PBS The Business Channel at the address below.

1. On what date did you participate in this seminar? ________________


Where did you participate? city_____________________ state______

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into
Opportunities

2. On a scale of 1 10 (with 10 being the highest), rate this program in


terms of its educational value to you:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3. If asked to describe what you like best about todays program, which
of the following phrases would you use? (check all that apply)

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other: ____________________________________________

SM

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5. What one thing will you try to do as a result of taking part in


this program?
Return this form to your
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Attn: Cutting-edge Seminars
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Please feel free to add additional comments on the back of this sheet.

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Featuring Paul

G. Stoltz

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 1

Introduction to Adversity Quotient

Most of us are familiar with IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Some of us may have


heard the term EQ (Emotional Quotient). In Paul Stoltzs book he introduces a new
term, AQ (Adversity Quotient).
Directions
As you listen to Paul Stoltz define AQ and compare it to IQ and EQ, jot down several
words or short phrases to help you recall each terms distinction:

Adversity Quotient (AQ) is:

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is:

Emotional Quotient (EQ) is:

AQ is an important indicator of ones success potential because:

AQs potential effect on an organization is significant because:

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Directions
Paul Stoltz introduces Beck Weathers, the climber who met the challenge of Mount
Everest. Beck Weathers exhibits the traits of someone with a high AQ. He persevered
when obstacles threatened his life. On the lines below, list characteristics you would
associate with someone like Beck Weathers.

There are numerous adjectives to describe a person who possesses a high


Adversity Quotient. Paul Stoltz points out that it was Beck Weathers desire to Ascend
that led to his victory over life-threatening obstacles. We all share that core human
drive. We, too, want to Ascendmoving your purpose in your life forward no matter
what your goals. In other words, successful people share the profound urge to strive,
to make progress, to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. If all humans share
the drive to Ascend, then why are there overachievers and underachievers?
The metaphor of climbing a mountain helps illustrate the phenomenon. Lets begin
by defining the mountain.

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Ascend Mt. Success

Part 2

Directions
As Paul Stoltz describes the mountain metaphor, note phrases that define the mountain.

`
Directions
There are three types of people one encounters on a mountain. There are: quitters,
campers, and climbers. Take a moment and indicate on the mountain shown above
where you are likely to encounter each type. Then briefly describe in your own
words each of the following:

Quitter

Camper

Climber

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Activity Break

Scaling Organizational Mountains

Directions
Select one of the following three questions and write down as many answers as
possible. If time permits, tackle as many of the remaining questions as possible.
Feel free to interact with those around you. When we return, members of our
studio audience will share their responses.

What separates Climbers


from Campers and Quitters?

What does it take to succeed


in your organization?

What do you consider to be


the core competencies to thrive
in the next millennium?

11

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Do you see a connection between your responses and those shared by the
studio audience? Is there a pattern among responses for the three questions?
Now that you can see how your success is determined in part by your AQ, lets take
a few minutes to determine your AQ. Turn the page and complete the Adversity
Response ProfileTM. Follow the instructions to tally your results and calculate your AQ.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Activity Break

The Adversity Response Profile

TM

The Adversity Response Profile is the only scientifically-grounded tool in


existence for measuring how effectively one deals with adversity, or ones AQTM.
AQ is a valid predictor of ones success, stress-threshold, performance, risk-taking,
capacity for change, productivity, perseverance, improvement, energy, and health.
Below is a short sample of the Adversity Response Profile. It provides a snapshot
of how you respond to adversity, but does not provide a complete measure of AQ.

Sample AQ Quicktake

TM

1. You suffer a financial setback.


How much control do you feel you have in this situation?
No control

Complete control

2. You are overlooked for a promotion.


To what extent do you feel responsible for dealing with this situation?
Not responsible at all

Completely responsible

3. You are criticized for a big project which you just completed.
The reason I was criticized is something that:
Relates to all aspects of my life

Just relates to this situation

4. You do not help a co-worker who needs your assistance.


The reason I did not help will
Always exist

Never exist again

5. The highest priority project you are working on gets canceled.


How much control to you feel you have in this situation?
No control

Complete control

6. Someone you respect ignores your attempt to discuss an important issue.


To what extent do you feel responsible for dealing with this situation?
Not responsible at all

Completely responsible

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

7. People respond unfavorably to your latest ideas.


The reason people responded unfavorably is something that:
Relates to all aspects of my life

Just relates to this situation

8. You are unable to take a much needed vacation.


The reason you are unable to take this vacation will:
Always exist

Never exist again

Source: Paul G. Stoltz, author of Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Scoring instructions
Add together all the numbers you circled to get your overall AQ.
Insert your total in this box.
Low AQ (8-18) indicates that you have a difficult time dealing with adversity and/or
adversity takes an unnecessary toll on your energy, performance, and spirit.
Strengthening your AQ can improve your natural resilience and lessen the fallout
from adversity.
Moderate AQ (19-32) indicates you deal with adversity fairly well, however, your
performance can be enhanced with a higher AQ.
High AQ (32-40) indicates a high capacity for adversity and the ability to persevere
through changing times. You may be strengthened by adversity, especially over time.
You probably embrace the right kind of change and take necessary risks.

1998 PEAK Learning, Inc. (800) 255-5572

14

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 3

AQs Scientific Building Blocks

AQ is rooted in three sciences: psychoneuroimmunology, neurophysiology,


and cognitive psychology. They are its building blocks. Hundreds of research studies lend
support to the role AQ plays in determining ones ability to triumph over obstacles.
Psychoneuroimmunology is a field in science that examines the mind-body
relationship. In essence, it studies the relationship between what one thinks and
feels and what goes on in the body. How do thoughts and feelings affect the
body and its overall health?
Directions
As Paul Stoltz describes the field of psychoneuroimmunology and how it supports AQ,
use the space below for personal notes.

Bottom Line Your thoughts and emotions determine the strength of your body
chemistry down to the cellular level.

Neurophysiology is a field in science that focuses on the brain. It studies how


the brain learns and functions. How are habits formed and what must occur to change
habits once they are established?
Directions
As Paul Stoltz describes the field of neurophysiology and how it supports AQ, use the
space below for personal notes.

Bottom Line The brain is ideally equipped to hardwire habits of thought and behavior.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Cognitive psychology is the most popular aspect of psychology focusing on


the relationships between thoughts and feelings associated with ones mental health.
While there are many aspects to cognitive psychology, of particular importance to AQ
is the research examining the human need for control or mastery over ones life.
Directions
As Paul Stoltz describes the field of cognitive psychology and how it supports AQ,
use the space below for personal notes.

Bottom Line Learned Helplessness, considered to be the Landmark Theory of


the Century, explains why many people give up or stop short when faced with lifes
challenges.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 4

AQ and Learned Helplessness

In recent years there has been a push to empower individuals. Yet, learned
helplessness is pervasive in many organizations today. Take a moment to study the
graphic below.

Empowerment
(High AQ)

Learned Helplessness
(Low AQ)

Directions
Discuss the following question with the person sitting beside you. Jot down your
thoughts on the lines provided.

What is the relationship between learned helplessness and empowerment?

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

There are additional cognitive psychology theories that support AQ.


They include:
attributional style
resiliency
locus of control
self efficacy

control theory
explanatory style
hardiness

While these theories support AQ, the defining moment is when you face
ADVERSITY.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 5

Four Key Facts About Facing Adversity

Though most of us will not experience a moment of truth of the same


magnitude as Capt. Scott OGrady, we are regularly faced with events with which we
have little or no control. The choice lies in how you choose to respond. You can
choose to take control of your response or assume helplessness.
Moments of truth can be summarized in four statements:
1. The moment of truth is when you face adversity.
2. Patterns of how we react to adversity are difficult to judge.
3. Reaction patterns can be measured.
4. Reaction patterns can be permanently improved.

AQ

nd
ce
As
to
ols
To

Va
lid
M
ea
sur
e

Acceptance of these four underlying principles is fundamental to AQ.

New Theory of Effectiveness

19

Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

AQ Definition

Part 6

Adversity Quotient

is a new theory of effectiveness

identifies a new set of scientifically-grounded skills and tools for the Ascent

is a scientifically valid measurement

Directions
AQ is relevant to individuals, families, organizations, and communities alike.
Jot down the multitude of areas in which AQ effectively predicts success.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

The AQ Continuum

Part 7

AQ scores are not simply categorized as high or low. Instead they tend to
fall in a normal distribution as illustrated by the bell-shaped curve shown below.

Low AQ
059

Moderate AQ
95134

High AQ
166200

AQ scores range from low to high, destructive to constructive. Regardless


of where your score lies on the continuum, it can be strengthened.
There are four CORE dimensions to AQ. They are:
1. C

Control

2. O

Ownership

3. R

Reach

4. E

Endurance

Directions
Refer to the Adversity Response ProfileTM you completed previously. As Paul Stoltz
reviews each of the eight questions, use the space below for notes.

Adversity Quotient

21

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

AQ in the Workplace

Part 8

Welcome back from the break. Prior to the break, you had an opportunity
to ask questions pertaining to your AQ score, the research underpinnings of AQ,
and other topics addressed in the first half of this presentation. But just how can
AQ be applied in an organization? What specific actions can management take
to nurture a high AQ workplace?
In this second portion, we will focus on how to apply AQ in a business setting.
You will learn about:

five warning signs

six ways in which to sabotage AQ

twelve ways to nurture AQ

Lets first list the applications in which AQ can and has been applied successfully.
Directions
There are numerous applications of AQ within an organization. As Paul Stoltz describes
the variety of applications, use the space provided for notes.

Hiring
Retention
Performance
Leadership
Change
Resilience
Culture
Teams
Vision
Coaching
Relationships
Customers/Clients

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 9

Five Warning Signals

There are five telltale signs that an organization is not inspiring employees
to Ascend. The signals are:
1. People accept, but do not embrace change.
2. People fight to maintain the status quo.
3. People accept less than optimal results.
4. Innovation is incremental, with no major breakthroughs.
5. People may be pleasant, but seem uninspired.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Activity Break

Ways to Sabotage AQ

Directions
All too often organizations sabotage efforts to minimize learned helplessness
and nurture empowerment. Respond to the question in each column by listing
your responses in the space provided.
How does your organization
sabotage AQ?

How does your organization


nurture AQ?

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

________________________________

In the previous exercise, you listed actions your organization takes which unwittingly
undermine AQ. The following list summarizes surefire methods for sabotaging AQ,
not only in an organization but in your personal life as well. Carefully examine these
six ways.
1. Grant responsibility without authority.
2. Point out the downside to everything.
3. Sap strength with long hours and no rejuvenation.
4. Over promise, under deliver.
5. Surround Climbers with Campers.
6. Craft a mission statement, then forget about it.
What steps can you take to avoid these mistakes? Lets proceed to look at how
organizations can foster AQ.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 10

Twelve Ways to Nurture AQ


Directions
As each step is described, use the space provided to jot down key points pertaining
to that step. Try to use brief terms or quick drawings that will jog your recall of each step
when you reread this discussion guide after the presentation. It may be helpful to
consider the Malden Mills example when composing your brief notes.

1. Define the mountain and articulate individual alignment.


_____________________________________________________________________
2. Align all systems to the mountain.
_____________________________________________________________________
3. Hire Climbers.
_____________________________________________________________________
4. Reward people for climbing.
_____________________________________________________________________
5. Promise modestly, deliver abundantly.
_____________________________________________________________________
6. Reward and model rejuvenation.
_____________________________________________________________________
7. Provide needed resources.
_____________________________________________________________________
8. Mine adversity for opportunity.
_____________________________________________________________________
9. Glorify the great struggles.
_____________________________________________________________________
10. Establish accountability.
_____________________________________________________________________
11. Demolish barriers to hope.
_____________________________________________________________________
12. Strengthen the CORE.
_____________________________________________________________________

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Part 11

Wrap Up

In todays session you became familiar with the Adversity Quotient (AQ)
theory. AQ has its roots in the fields of psychoneuroimmunology, neurophysiology, and
cognitive psychology. Essentially AQ is a scientifically valid measurement of ones
ability to turn obstacles into opportunities. By completing and scoring the Adversity
Response ProfileTM you were able to determine your personal AQ. You also assessed
your organizations AQ, not by completing a formal instrument but by responding to
questions posed by Paul Stoltz.
AQ has many applications within a business setting because it is a predictor of success.
For example, it can be used in recruiting, coaching, and even in change management.
To be truly effective in an organization, management must first recognize that
organizations unwittingly undermine AQ in the workplace. The telltale signs that
AQ is being sabotaged are:
1. People accept, but do not embrace change.
2. People fight to maintain the status quo.
3. People accept less than optimal results.
4. Innovation is incremental, with no major breakthroughs.
5. People may be pleasant, but seem uninspired.
So how do organizations sabotage AQ? Some of the answers are obvious, such as,
grant responsibility without authority and point out the downside to everything.
Less obvious methods are to: sap an individuals strength; over promise, under deliver;
surround Climbers with Campers; and craft a mission statement, then forget about it.
There are definite actions an organization can take to nurture an Ascending AQ
climate. While a list of twelve actions may appear daunting, Paul Stoltz shared the
Malden Mills case example. The company president, Aaron Feuerstein, demonstrated
a high AQ. He possessed an innate ability to see past the adversity and welcome the
opportunities posed by a devastating factory fire.
To fully appreciate AQ, read Paul Stoltzs book, Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles
into Opportunities. Particularly noteworthy are chapters six through nine. These chapters
expand upon the principles introduced in the latter half of todays presentation.
They provide additional, easy-to-apply strategies for improving your AQ, as well as the
AQ of those around you at home and at work.

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Adversity Quotient
Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

About Paul Stoltz


As one of the worlds leading experts in human and organizational
performance, Paul Stoltz is in high demand as a presenter, consultant, and trainer.
He has shared his revolutionary AQ theory and technology with 35 million people,
helping individuals, teams, and organizations around the world to become
more resilient and effective in dealing with adversity. As a result, executives,
educators, managers, parents, and professionals have measurably enhanced their
change-readiness, resilience, performance, effectiveness, leadership, purpose,
relationships, communication, vision, sales, learning, and success.
As author of the internationally acclaimed bestseller Adversity Quotient: Turning
Obstacles into Opportunities, Paul Stoltz has been a featured expert on The Oprah
Winfrey Show, CNN, CNBC, Business News Network, The American Health
Network, and PBS. He is a sought after resource for The Wall Street Journal, The Los
Angeles Times, Success Magazine, Newsday, Entrepreneur Magazine, Family Circle,
Womans World, Investors Business Daily, and more than sixty radio stations from
around the United States and the world. To date his book has been published in seven
languages; has been adopted by MBA programs; and was selected as the Book of the
Month by the Institute for Management Studies and Audio Tech.
In 1997, Paul Stoltz was selected as keynote presenter to the prestigious Singapore
Assembly of Chief Executives annual conference where he presented to several
hundred senior executives representing more than 350,000 employees from Southeast
Asia. Other clients include Abbott Labs, Amoco, BellSouth, Coopers & Lybrand, Levi
Strauss, Marriott International, Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and the U.S. Air Force.
Paul Stoltzs highly interactive, energizing presentations and programs feature leadingedge multimedia, innovative design, and breakthrough ideas. His sincere, warm, and
authentic manner is communicated through his rich humor, stories, and examples
which bring his ideas to life.
Paul Stoltz received his bachelors degree from the University of California and his
Masters and Ph.D. in Organizational Communication, Development and Leadership
from the University of Minnesota. He is president and CEO of PEAK Learning, Inc.,
an international performance consulting firm in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he resides
with his wife, two boys, and two Akitas. In a nationwide contest for Americas Most
Creative Family, USA Today awarded Paul Stoltzs family first prize.

Use this form to write your questions for Paul Stoltz or for discussion among your
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Question sheet

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Adversity Quotient

Your organization

Turning Obstacles into


Your location

Opportunities

Your question (25 words or less)

SM

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