See post one, which explains the model at: http://bit.ly/I4Dqhs
It’s interesting how often the ‘resilience’ factor is brought up in relation to leadership. I think the reason for this is that more than education, experience or training, a leader’s level of resilience will determine their success.
Let me start by putting in simple terms what I mean by resilience. It’s about your ability to ‘bounce-back’ from setbacks or adversity. But it’s also the ability to cope under pressure and deal positively with stress; it’s referred to by some as ‘mental toughness’ or measured in terms of RQ (Resilience Quotient) and much of the above is about attitude.
Those in leadership roles would, I’m sure, naturally expect that they require a high level of resilience to succeed – it goes with the territory doesn’t it?
The reality is that it probably does.
There is a note of caution though: highly resilient leaders may actually underestimate the difficulties experienced by others in dealing with situations or adapting to change. So, in the grand scheme of things, this will stop them being an effective leader.
As I’ve said in earlier blogs, self-awareness in a leader is fundamental. This includes understanding how you adapt and cope when under pressure or stress - how this affects you, and how you deal with the scenario or handle the environment at that point in time. By remaining aware, resilient leaders can maintain their control of the situation and think of new ways to tackle problems.
Resilience tends to be mostly scrutinised in context of dealing with organisational change and coping effectively with the pressures associated with change. This can either be change with a ‘capital c’ (major transformational change such as mergers, downsizing, restructure) or a ‘small case c’ (dealing with all the business as usual tasks and responsibilities), both of which you will need to manage if you are in a leading and influencing role.
Why is this important? Because leaders need the ability to instil confidence - if you have a resilient attitude and that comes across positively to those around you then you’re more likely to achieve this. It goes without saying that, regardless of the size of organisation you lead or work within, this can then have far-reaching effects in a positive or negative way.
You can see how having a high level of resilience could also be a real deciding factor for those who have just started their own business or would-be entrepreneurs considering doing so. Having the sheer guts and determination to succeed (as well as a good business idea and strategy), is the difference between those who start a venture and get worn down by the knock backs and uncertainty and give up, and those who are consistently tenacious, and put in the hard work and focus required to achieve success. You also have to have courage of conviction, and communicate this well, as this may sometimes mean taking the path less trodden.
Of course, the reality is that even the most resilient will have experienced a time or a situation where things either haven’t gone to plan or they’ve wanted to give up.
So, here are a few tips to help boost your resilience:
· Be realistic – learn to accept the fact that things won’t always go the way you need them to – just make sure that the people around you don’t suffer as a result.
· Be positive – have confidence in your own ability. Although it may a cliché, there’s always an upside when things don’t go according to plan – seize the moment and make sure that you take the opportunity it may present. Encourage your people to do the same.
· Manage stress – learn to know how being under pressure affects you – are you one of these people who shouts and gets loud or is your preference to go away and isolate yourself until you’ve thought of a solution? Let people you work with know your style of dealing with things and how you can help each other in such scenarios.
· Establish goals – crisis situations are daunting for any person. Resilient people are able to view these situations in a realistic way and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem.
· Keep working on your skills – resilience takes time to build, so it’s important not to get discouraged. Building your knowledge helps build your confidence and ability to deal with different situations and develop resilience.