Practice These Resilience Skills to Become a Great Leader
When my friend Petra was diagnosed with cancer, not once, but twice, life gave her no choice but to be strong. When she went into remission for the second time, she decided she was going to wake people up to the precious gift of time. Through that conscious decision, she has inspired thousands of people to build inspired lives full of joy and gratitude. One way she does this is through her resilient mindset.
As I witnessed her positivity and determination, I wondered how I would handle that situation. Would I hide in bed and never speak of cancer again, or would my resilience shine through? Petra turned her tragedy into triumph.
High-performing leaders and doers, like my friend Petra have had to overcome challenges, which taught them how to develop resilience in the workspace and in their personal life.
Why Is Resilience Necessary for a Leader?
Leaders don’t become leaders by following. They blaze trails, put in hard work, think-outside-the-box and fail.
Failure leads to resilience, which is a crucial characteristic of high-performing leaders. It is a trait you must cultivate in order to advance, survive and thrive. Successful leaders also carry the responsibility of protecting the energy of their team, which leads to resilience in the workplace. Throughout this article, I will share strategies for building resilience, like how to sustain your energy level under pressure, cope with disruptive changes and adapt.
The Most Important Skills for a Resilient Leader
High-performing leaders make it look effortless, as if they were born with magical leadership qualities. I don’t know anyone born with this blessing because every successful leader I know worked hard to acquire knowledge and hone their resilient skills. They learn that success is built on failure.
Many high-performing leaders have skills in common, skills that can be learned. I will share strategies for building resilience so you can develop these skills and become a resilient leader who inspires others to follow.
Self-awareness is the foundation of resilience and emotional intelligence skills. Every high-performing leader starts by acknowledging their strengths and recognizing their weaknesses. They use this self-awareness to improve every day.
Self-awareness is a prerequisite for choice and control. If your thoughts operate outside of your awareness, they will control you. Pressure and stress are external factors that high-performing leaders deal with daily. Learning to manage stress is a critical step in developing resilience.
Start by paying attention to your body’s response to stress. What triggers the feeling and what are your physiological responses? Notice how your body responds to your thoughts, and how that increases stress. Once you recognize how your body and mind handle stress, you can learn how to manage it.
There is one word that pops up often with most resilience speakers.
It is inevitable, so instead of trying to control or manage it, work on your reaction to it. We live in times where unpredictability is the only predictability. There is no business or career in the world that can go the distance without adapting to change.
That doesn’t mean change is bad. I strongly believe that our reality is based on perception. Using change as a way to learn and grow eases the fear behind it. By reframing a situation (changing how you view it), you can learn and move forward. When you are willing to look at change this way, your entire reality shifts. YES. You are that powerful!
Change is a wonderful thing if you use it to create new possibilities. For more ways to view change in a positive way and build resilience at work, check out my article on Building a Change Proof Company Culture.
Have a Mindful Life
Petra used her trauma to begin living a mindful life, which is a key resilience strategy. In her own words, “I live by Central Park for so long and I find these little new sitting places and I get quiet. I listen to all that’s going on around me. It reminds me of two things. That nothing stops. Nature doesn’t stop and also another side of it helps me remember how insignificant in some way I am in this big global picture. From that place, what has helped me in resilience is serving. Be a servant leader. How can I help? Through that, it reminds me of my sense of purpose moving forward. It’s being mindful at the moment in the park, being a servant leader at the moment, and then helping hopefully move us all forward in the small way that I can contribute.”
You can learn more about her by listening to my podcast The Mindset of Resilience With Petra Kolber.