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How to be a Resilient Leader


Building resilience

Building resilience skills has been shown to significantly reduce depression and improve performance and life satisfaction – across years and years. It takes more than a strong brand and the intention to engage with and create a positive experience for employees. Organisations need to be resilient, with flexible and resourceful leaders, to create a productive and engaging work environment for its people. Let’s face it, we’ve all had that one boss who’s lost it at an inappropriate moment – I once worked for a director who just couldn’t handle a design agency telling him his ideas were a bit passé, so he just flipped and started shouting at everyone to get out! - and that doesn’t instil a great deal of confidence in their ability to lead your team.

It’s common for businesses and organisations to create a plan and assume that will lead them down the right path to their destination, but things don’t always go according to plan – the best laid plans and all that – and employees begin to lose focus, and heart, and that’s when you need resilient leaders to step up and lead their teams through.

It's going to be ok

Everyone needs to believe that things will be ok in the end. Whether that be tomorrow, next week, or in a year. And we need to work for an organisation – and ultimately, a leader – who makes it possible for us to believe that, one that makes it possible for us to keep going. We need resilient leaders to see us through uncertainty and worrying times.

US resilience trainer, Michael Ballard, has looked closely into why some people encounter a setback and go on to thrive, whilst others falter and fail to progress. His experience is an exercise in choice: we can choose to progress, or through fear or uncertainty become stuck. We can all benefit from a set of coping skills and these tips should help you become a more resilient leader and build your team's resilience.

  • Remember, it's not you

As Harold Kushner wrote, Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Worrying about why bad things happen is a fast way to becoming stuck – trust me, I know! Resilient people, and organisations, know how to adapt to bad things by reframing negative experiencesand building postitive resilience. Remember you are not responsible for everything that happens in an organisation. Know which errors are yours and correct them, but don’t project them onto other people, and don’t hold yourself responsible for every bad thing in your life or work.

  • Work at relationships

Building and maintaining enduring relationships is key to being resilient and it’s the same with organisations: build relationships with your brand’s partners, customers and prospects. We also forge many of the relationships that keep us going at work, so be a good listener and a good supporter of people’s strengths.

  • Keep thinking positively

Reframe the problem. Bad things, particularly in your workplace/work life, are seldom life threatening. Try to teach yourself to see them as an opportunity: if someone doesn’t like your proposal or presentation, find out why and keep in mind that it was a reaction to one piece of work, not a judgment on your whole career.

We can all be trapped in bad things at work, but if we choose to learn from them and bounce back it empowers us to move forward and through the bad situation and back into something good. It may seem a difficult choice at the time, being a victim of circumstance can be a trap. People – and organisations – who are resilient take action and own their problems. Choose to learn and be resilient and you’ll bounce back – and you’ll lead your team along with you.

If you’d like to learn more about building your resilience skills, give us a call +44 (0)20 3326 6289.

Building resilience


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