Building Resilience

Posted in management by Christopher R. Wirz on Fri Mar 18 2016

Note: For this post, assume you are a leader.

Managing change often comes with higher than normal stress for longer periods of time. Resilience will help reduce the impact of this stress. That means leaders need to build resilience.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It is elasticity and toughness. Resilient leaders get knocked down by work or life and then get back up. Resilience is being willing and able to try again even harder.

Resilient leaders do not let failure define them. Instead, challenges and setbacks are a form of feedback that allows for growth. Failure is not a reflection of skills or self-worth.

Resilient leaders are committed with meaningful goals and a sense of purpose. They are also empathetic and compassionate towards others. Resilient leader do not waste time and energy caring about what others think about them.

Resilience is built through a combination of physical and mental exercises. Diet (calorie conscious), exercise (walking, hiking, biking), and sleep (>7 hours) matter a lot. Exercise produces both physical and mental benefits.

Proactive reflection is an important mental exercise to build resilience. On a daily basis, a resilient leader spends time thinking about how they think. The use positive perspectives and a positive attitude about work and future work. This is a conscious choice which has proven to improve performance.

People with whom the leader is surrounded have a strong impact on how the leader thinks and behaves. The leader should associate with those he or she perceives as resilient, positive and successful. People who do not meet that criteria should not consume much time.

A leader must be conscious of how he or she manages stress and maintains a sense of self-confidence. This extends into all aspects of life. A leader can both manage stress and build self-confidence. Resilience involves adopting a group of behaviors that improves the capacity to face a tough challenge (like managing change). This is the importance of resilience.

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