Becoming a More Resilient Leader

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after difficulty or adversity.  It is integral to your role as a leader. Your own resilience amidst change directly influences the behavior of your team.  If you are resilient, solution-focused and flexible when facing change, chances are your team will be, too.

Successful leaders see themselves as resilient.  They are able to create a positive outcome in almost any situation – no matter where the change takes them and their people.  They believe they will be successful navigating change and are committed to creating a good outcome.

Resilient leaders understand change, communicate effectively about it, and show deep levels of trust and respect for their staff and colleagues.  They focus on solutions and opportunities, address challenges directly, and stay focused on their vision for change.

Yet, for most leaders, they rarely feel resilient with ongoing stress, pressure and change.

What are your own beliefs about change?  Do you see change as difficult or as a problem? Change can indeed be difficult and problematic, but having these beliefs can hold you back.  If we interpret change as difficult, we begin to look for proof of why it is so. We come across as negative about the change as we present it to others and lead them through it.  It becomes nearly impossible to engage people in the change, at least in a positive way. Usually, the result is subtle or outright resistance to change (your own and theirs).

Rather than creating resistance to change, create resilience by asking yourself two key questions:

  1. What would allow me to acknowledge the difficulties but then shift toward the opportunities so I can become more resilient in this situation?
  2. What new conversations with my team and colleagues do I need to have to shift them towards a more positive, solution-focused approach?

By asking these questions, you can begin to lead through change in a more effective way.  You can help your team navigate challenges while also staying focused on the future you are creating. This will build resilience for yourself, your team and your organization!

Weekly Uplevel Practice

Take time this week to notice potential “anti-resilience” behaviors that may be interfering with your ability to be resilient in the face of challenges and/or change.  Begin to notice when:

  1. You are caught up in the “problem of change” rather than the “opportunity of change” and choose to see what could be possible instead.
  2. Become aware of the language you are using with your team.  Is it focused on solutions and the future or solely on problems?  If the latter, shift back towards what could be possible if the change you are creating is successful.

You may find that you need to do this several times in one day (or one hour if it’s a challenging situation) but it’s absolutely worth doing to build your resilience and accelerate results!