Change is as certain as the sunrise, disruption is here to stay, and we must adapt well to this state of continual flux in the world if we are to effectively lead others into the future.
Adam Markel, business consultant and leadership keynote speaker, is living proof of why resilience is crucial to effective team leadership. This article outlines some of the most important characteristics of transformational leaders.
What is Resilience?
Although the meaning of resilience is always changing, most people define it as the ability to bounce back from hardship. While this certainly rings true, Adam Markel, a popular leadership speaker, believes that any singular definition doesn’t do justice to this vital, very personal state of being.
Resiliency is about bouncing forward, not backward. It’s about the fortitude to deal with challenges and come back stronger than before. Resilient leadership is about inspiring real transformation, so you can see where you want to go and understand how to get there.
The Core Traits of Transformational Leadership: Resilience and Empathy
Every leader wants their team to perform at their best. To inspire this kind of dedication, you must develop trust, respect, and admiration. If they know you are willing to go to bat for them, they will be willing to do the same.
The true measure of a leader happens during difficult times. Resiliency isn’t something you are born with, it is developed through reflection. Uniformly, every resilient leader has endured crises and found opportunities in the chaos.
Empathetic leadership is also a key characteristic of transformational leaders. When you connect with people on a personal level and walk a mile in their shoes, real change begins to take place. If you can display emotional fortitude, courage, and empathy when things get rough, you will instill confidence in your team members, helping them stay calm.
Becoming More Resilient: Key Aspects of Leadership
What can we do to close the gap?
How can we produce different results?
How can we transform ourselves so that we can inspire change in others?
Most important of all, how can we thrive economically while creating a highly connected social network of happy, healthy workers united towards a common goal? How can we be resilient?
As the shadow of Covid-19 still hangs heavy over the entire planet, we have to remind ourselves that this is the biggest zeitgeist in recent history. The economic, political, and social landscape of society has shifted dramatically. The changing shape of things to come can be overwhelming for many of us.
As business owners who are responsible for so many things, it’s easy to forget the human element. The importance of the environment we create and the networks we maintain is critical to resilient leadership and effective teamwork. People have become disconnected from each other in many ways, which has been a huge shock to our collective well-being.
Build a Steady, Change Proof Culture
To ensure that your company can not only survive but thrive, you need to understand that we are in the midst of a rapid shift in the workplace. And it’s not about reinventing the wheel during trying times, it’s about moving your marble forward and creating a change proof company culture.
As Adam always says, “Develop resilience before you need it.” If we can’t adapt and innovate in today’s disruptive environment, we will be left behind.
In order to succeed, companies all over the world are scrambling to find ways to provide employees with a comfortable environment that gives them opportunities to contribute and make meaningful connections. This is vital to the success of the organization’s mission, its promise, and team leadership.
One thing Adam stresses is neutrality. Be neutral because when you are neutral, you produce a calm state of being. When you aren’t focused on the future or looking back at the past, your senses heighten, and your eyes open. Deep down in our hearts, we all know what to do, but it’s easy to become distracted, to forget.
When your awareness has peaked, and you are alert, you will know exactly what needs to be done and begin to trust in your intuition — the moral compass inside each one of us, the intuition that has never steered you wrong.
Cope With Stress
Many Sherpas are highly regarded by the climbing community as elite mountaineers and guardians of the Himalayas. No one on earth can match the Sherpas’ experience, grit, and mental fortitude at extreme altitudes. Many believe that their genetics adapted to the high altitudes over many years, giving them extraordinary abilities.
Although a crisis at work typically doesn’t mean life or death, even if it feels that way sometimes, we can learn a great deal of leadership values from the Sherpa mountaineers. Where the air is thin, 10,000 to 20,000 feet above sea level, the mountaineers thrive in the face of uncertainty.
They must be mindful of predators, blocked paths, dangerous weather, know when to rest and when to move on. As faithful guides, there is no one better to have by your side than a Sherpa when you are up in the clouds. Their resilience and expertise instill confidence and a sense of calm about the journey ahead.
In the workplace, anxiety and stress go hand and hand with disruption. Especially considering the accelerated rate of change we’ve gone through this year. The future of work itself is a very real source of fear. Working a job for 40 years and collecting a pension isn’t an option for just about anybody nowadays.
Resilience isn’t about stopping in the face of uncertainty; it’s about establishing priorities and effectively coping with stress. If our path is full of obstacles, we must carve a new one ourselves to keep the ball rolling.
Finding and Making Creative Opportunities
If you’ve ever gone extreme kayaking, you understand the cold rush of adrenaline that comes from navigating the whitewater with skill and precision. With no time to think, you react. You constantly change direction to avoid rocks, relying on instinct as you brave the falls.
If there’s one company that handled the rapids of the post-covid economy with brilliant dexterity, it’s Zoom. During a traumatic time when we were all scrambling to figure out what to do, especially non-essential workers, Zoom rapidly adapted and expanded its technology to help us all keep things afloat.
Networking is among one of the most important traits of a transformational leader. Skilled networkers find access to the people, information, and resources they need to solve problems and create opportunities. They don’t just find new opportunities, they create them. The most effective pivoters can build such strong habits that this process becomes effortless.
This means that you need to take reasonable risks because you’ll never win if you don’t make a bet. Creativity is about learning and exploration because there are no wrong decisions, only choices. It’s about finding new ways to pivot and cross-pollinate your ideas.
Leadership Values: Recovering From a Bad Storm
As human beings, we are wired to be resilient. For thousands of years, we’ve overcome one catastrophe over another. And just like now, as things are beginning to look up, it’s more important to tap into that ability.
Resilience helps you rapidly adapt and recover in post-disaster aftermath. It’s tempting to blame the weather when disaster strikes, but if we reframe our perspective, it could be that summer was winter’s plan all along.
When disaster strikes, it can upset homeostasis and put a wrench in the essential functions of your company. Understanding how to differentially anticipate, prepare, resist, cope, and recover from disasters thus becomes one of the most critical aspects of leadership.
Furthermore, sustainable high-performance is all about recovery. Having a set of rituals to rejuvenate your spirit and stay grounded is a requirement. Remember, our brains need just as much recovery as our bodies do. It’s important to avoid states of intense mental arousal.
How to Become a Resilient and Transformational Leader
With guidance, feedback, and a proven system—anyone can develop the characteristics of a transformational leader. When you can inspire leaders in your organization to choose resilience over chaos, there’s nothing you can’t achieve together.
Book Adam Markel as a Leadership Keynote Speaker Today
Adam Markel is a world-renown leadership speaker, business mentor, and transformational teacher who has reached millions of people with his message. His unique expertise and breadth of experience are rooted in time-honored processes and techniques he’s discovered over a lifetime of triumphs and missteps, both invaluable sources of wisdom.
If you are interested in finding a brain trust to help you lace up your high-performance sneakers and reach the finish line, Adam Markel and his team are here for you. Take the free resilience assessment test to find out where you stand on the resilience scale. It’s fun and only takes a few minutes to complete.