Let’s take a quick look at how success gets easier when you are resilient.

3 whistles rang out – piercing through the noise of the waves and the beachgoers. That meant someone was missing, in the water, and as a lifeguard, it was my job to find them. We darted into the water, creating a line of lifeguards, and we began our search – each of us pouring every ounce of energy we had into finding this lost swimmer. We did this for an hour. I’ll never forget the feeling in my chest, my heart, as I made my way back to shore not having found the missing swimmer. 

A Brief History on Resilience

The word resilience used to only be referenced in the context of “soft skills” – the kind of skills that saw corporate funding get cut at the first sign of a downturn. If this has taught us anything, it’s that resilience is starting to take its proper place in the boardroom. It’s the word on everyone’s lips, including people like Arianna Huffington

Truth: I’ve spent my entire professional career figuring out what it takes to succeed even in the most challenging of conditions. Beginning with those days as a lifeguard on Jones Beach NY. I often share my lifeguard story when I deliver keynotes – because even though that was the only loss in my 7 years there, it’s easy to see the impact and understand the need for resilience. 

I wanted to collapse into the sand. Give up. Walk away. But there were thousands of people still there that day – and they needed me. This is how I became “the resilience guy”. 

Why is this important?

Individually and as an organization, results happen quicker when we can leverage adversity as a catalyst for long-term growth. In plain terms, what I know to be true is this: when we lean into the pivots, the hills, the waves – and we use those as opportunities rather than setbacks – we build resilience which always leads to success. This is why Huffington named resilience the word of the year – we all learned that we have to be able to make a comeback – no matter how wild the world gets. And this is what the corporate world needs more of. 

This might sound like common knowledge but it certainly isn’t common practice, especially not in the middle of a pandemic, which ironically is when we need to be the most resilient. Having a Resilience Strategy in place is not something leaders are often thinking about because they’re just trying to stay above water, avoid drowning. 

When life gives us big waves – we learn how to swim. 

When I am a resilience keynote speaker at organizations, I focus on three key resilience skills, that help paint a picture of how important a resilience strategy is to avoid drowning, and instead, learn to swim no matter how the water moves that day: 

  • Reframe: find the meaning, learn something from the experience.
  • Reset: take time out to reset your mind, emotional state, and energy. 
  • Regenerate: rest and recovery for our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states will determine our resilience. Being impeccable comes from building in rest and recovery. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. 

Rituals Reinforce the 3 R’s

(say that a few times fast) 

To reframe, we need to be in the habit of asking ourselves, “What’s the opportunity in this pivot?” To reset, we can use “I Am” statements and reinforce who we are and who we want to be. And to regenerate, we need to unplug and invest time in activities that re-energize our mind, body, and spirit. A walk on the beach or in your favorite park, 20-minutes with your favorite book, meditation – these are simple ways we can make sure we are creating rituals that lead to recovery on a daily basis. 

Exhaustion Is Not A Business Model

When people take my Resilience Assessment, it often shows me a lack of balance between work and rest. In our American culture, we’ve prided ourselves on overworking for years and years. The corporate culture has long rewarded this mentality of overworking, holding the promotions hostage until you prove that you will sacrifice everything to make those quarterly numbers just a little bit higher. 

The Benefits are Seductive

Integration creates harmony, and this is much more simple than most organizations think – and requires a minimal amount of resources. This pivot happens by creating systems and processes that institute resilience as a core value AND is reinforced by leaders who model and demonstrate this core value. The positive change that results is worth its weight in gold because we see more: 

  • Innovation
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Useful ideas
  • Overall better performance

The things that stop your business from accelerating to the next level are often the things associated with this lack of balance and a lack of resilience among individuals. Being able to bounce backward and then quickly bounce forward is a major asset that can be leveraged for more – more of all the things listed above. Who doesn’t need better ideation? Or more creativity? Or higher innovation?

Resilience is more than a buzzword. Resilience is how we learn to take on the ocean that is life, and use the waves – big or small – to get us where we’re going. Resilience is how we learn to swim, no matter how the water looks each day. 

Ready to build your Resilience Strategy? Start with our Resilience Assessment to take away the guesswork. Ready for a Resilience Keynote Speaker? My books are filling up quickly. Check here for availability.