In many organizations, you may hear “failure is not an option.” However, failure is not only an option, failure is required to develop resilience. Being resilient means you don't avoid mistakes, you learn from them. Unfortunately, many people think of resiliency from a personal perspective. They don’t think of it as a critical component of effective leadership, or a skill that can be learned.
Resilience can be shaped by how we interpret the adversities we face. This means you have to develop your thought processes to be more positive. Specifically, by changing the way your brain interprets events and situations and enhancing your focus on the better parts of your life. Cal Crow, Program Director at the Center for Learning Connections cites the following as key concepts to focus on during resilience training:
• Developing an optimistic outlook for the future;
• Developing solid goals, as well as the desire to accomplish them;
• Developing your compassion and empathy; and
• Developing your focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t.
Why Resilience is Necessary as a Leader
Today’s leaders are getting hit with a number of roadblocks, let-downs, and failed attempts. Even knowing all of this, we still don’t discuss resiliency as an essential leadership trait. The true grit of a leader is not how well they perform in good times. It’s more about how they display emotional strength, courage, and professionalism during the hard times.
During these trying times, your team needs a leader they can lean on. They don’t need a leader who is going to reflect the negativity of the situation they are in. They need a leader who will support them and listen to their concerns, but not allow them to stray from what they are trying to accomplish. They also need a leader who can stand up and be a voice for them and ensure their best interests are kept in the forefront.
As a leader, it is important to understand that adversity will be your greatest teacher. Embrace it and allow it to teach you how wildly capable you are. We need to start talking about resiliency in leaders as a critical trait to organizational success. As we model resiliency, our people will become motivated and inspired to address their own resiliency.