Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
Today we’re discussing resilience – an invaluable quality for every leader.
No matter who you are, your resilience will have been put to the test this year. I am, of course, referring to the lockdown period of Covid-19, when our lives were turned upside down and many of us were separated from our extended family and friends.
You might have even surprised yourself with how resilient you were during the initial upheaval of the first few months of lockdown.
This was certainly true of the Excel Communications team, and many of our clients I spoke with too. It’s incredible how people can step up in the face of adversity.
But before I get into the subject of building resilience – if you’re new here, welcome!
You’ll find a transcription of this podcast over on the Excel Communications website along with additional resources and podcasts too.
So, while some people might seem more ‘naturally’ resilient than others, resilience is, thankfully, something that we can all learn and develop to become better leaders.
Ok, let’s get started by sharing how we can define resilience. First, let’s talk about how we can define resilience.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is often thought of as the ability to bounce back from failures or challenges. Yet it is much more than that.
It is about being confident at all times, that you have the necessary skills, attitude, temperament and outlook to face whatever is thrown your way.
As a resilient leader, your team should inherently consistently trust your decisions, knowing that even if things go ‘wrong’, you have the attitude and approach to help get the team through it.
But resilience is also about being authentic – something which too many leaders sadly forget.
No-one has all the answers – this is something that all leaders should have printed out and framed somewhere in their office!
Let’s talk about change and resilience; something we are all experiencing this year.
Resilience and Change
Change is a natural part of our lives. However, it can be disconcerting, and because of this reason, people tend to push back against it.
There is plenty of information out there about why both employees and employers are resistant to change – it’s an ongoing challenge for most of the human race! I’ll leave some links in the transcript from an excellent article on Harvard Business review about how to overcome resistance to change if you’re interested in checking it out.
To become truly resilient as a leader, you need to understand and accept that change is here to stay.
Resilience is more important now than it’s ever been as a tool to help us deal with change. There has been, and will be, plenty of changes to the way we live and work in the wake of the pandemic – it’s something that our teams will all experience consistently as we navigate through this new decade.
So how can we build resilience to help guide our teams through adversity, to help them feel supported and secure in these uncertain times?
It’s All About Recharging, Not Enduring
Finally, let me share some advice on how we can become better leaders by building our resilience.
I read a post recently about this, which quoted Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s work on engagement and productivity, which stood out to me.
It revealed that the key to being resilient is stopping, recovering and then trying again.
It was this part about ‘stopping’ which struck me. Over the last few decades, many of us have become hardwired to believe that taking our foot off the pedal is failing somehow; and I think we can all learn a lot from the many opportunities lockdown has given us for reflection.
We need periods of contemplation to allow us to assess our situations, to learn from the way we have lived our life and what we can do differently in the future.
Being a great leader is not about getting everything right the first time; it’s about learning from mistakes – both our own mistakes and those of others – and using this information to do better next time.
And achieving this is not possible unless, as Jim and Tony remind us we remember to slow down, and recharge.
You might think you stop work at 5.30 pm, or whatever time you usually officially stop – but how many nights do you spend ruminating about something that had happened at work during the day?
This is not ‘downtime’ at all – you are never really switching off, and giving yourself the time and the perspective to view challenges objectively and then learn from them.
And finally, one last thing I will say about resilience is that it must be developed with a good deal of humility and positivity along the way. Being able to stay humble and look for the positives when things go wrong is an excellent trait to possess as a leader. It will help you bounce back from those inevitable challenges much quicker.
So let’s summarise today’s podcast:
- Resilience is your ability to be confident so that you can bounce back using all your skills, abilities and attributes you have developed over time;
- That change will always be part of our ongoing future and becoming more resilient will be your way through;
- And finally, remember you are a human being and not a machine and increasing your resilience can also be achieved when you take time for you, too.
For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership, I’ll leave the link in the comments.
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This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast Saying bye for now.
About Excel Communications
LEARN, GROW, SUCCEED
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years, we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
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We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
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We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.
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