Tough Times Demand Resilient Leaders
Tough times. It's enough to cause all of us to stand like the proverbial "deer in headlights", mutter "the sky is falling", or else spring into action. The latter would be fine but it's often a knee-jerk response based on what we've done in the past. Trouble is that the present doesn't look like the immediate past.
Whether you're leading a Fortune 100 company, a small department, or an enterprise of one, now is the time to hone your resiliency skills. But first, let's update the definition of "resilient". In 1824, Webster defined it as: "the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress."
That definition works for explaining metal but not for the mettle of the human system. Consider this: The compressive stress to an organizational body can be the result of bloating mergers. Mergers now meet mania and layoffs distort the workloads and customer care. If this is the case, the resilient organization must carefully think what size and shape will serve it for the long haul. Recovering its size and shape might be the worst thing!
At the risk of insulting Webster, I define resiliency as " the capacity to cultivate strengths to positively meet the challenges of living; the ability to bounce back from adversity while maintaining personal and corporate integrity."
Some key resilient strengths are found in using HOPE as an acronym:
Head talk asks that we critically explore our thinking process. Are we stuck in out-moded patterns of behaviors that no longer serve us? What assumptions are we making and what actions can we take if the assumptions are confirmed? What resources can we call upon? How have we nurtured our relationships and support network? Are we being truly HONEST with ourselves about our own fears? What voices do we need to listen to-even if we don't want to?
Heart walk is truth in action. It means we keep our word. Trust is the password of our time. It is also the cornerstone of relationships. Since an inability to get along is the single biggest reason for failure, heart walk builds relationships through connecting at more than cerebral levels.
Optimism arises from our anticipation of a positive outcome as well as our ability to help produce that outcome. Dr. Martin Seligman's decades-long research indicates that optimism can be learned by listening carefully to our internal dialogue and challenging negative beliefs. Learned Optimism is a book that should be on everyone's reading list.
Purpose, passion and persistence work like a three-legged stool in holding up a resilient leader. Purpose implies that you have a reason for being on this earth and it is not "all about you". Since the odds of a human egg being fertilized are 220 trillion to one, you are NOT a mistake.
If purpose is the "why" you are here, passion is the "what". It's that activity that gets your juices flowing. Somehow, somewhere it must be in your life. Find a way to put it there and then persist in the doing. Pablo Casals knew he was put on earth for music. His passion was the cello. Even severely crippled with arthritis, his resilient spirit persisted through the pain and he played like an angel.
Energy and enjoyment spark up the human engine. In complex time, our energy sources need to be renewed and refreshed. Sleep, exercise, solitude, and meditation pump the exhausted spirit with the octane of resiliency. Play and laughter are birthrights of the human spirit. Laughter is the canary of hope. If the laughter has died, so too has your resiliency. Lighten up. Find what's zany about life. Watch children at play. Don't take life so seriously-you won't get out of it alive.
Philosopher Howard Zinn wrote that to have hope, one doesn't need certainty, only possibility. In an upside down world-there are lots of possibilities for positive change and growth. Let H.O.P.E. support YOUR resilient spirit.
(c) 2002 by Eileen McDargh. All rights reserved.
About The Author
Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE, is an international speaker, author and seminar leader. Her book 'The Resilient Spirit' is the companion piece to her talks on resiliency and spirit. For more information on Eileen and her presentations, please call 949-496-8640 or visit http://www.TheResilientSpirit.com
Leadership is best defined by the quality of your thoughts, decisions and actions. It is also underpinned by the quality of the tools you use in your role. Be seen to bring true leadership to your organization and act with the authority that it brings to you.
American Dream Leadership Series #1: Clarke Miyasaki Gives His Stance on Start-ups and Leadership - Forbes
Take the Road Less Traveled
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference."- Robert FrostI watched Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, a very controversial film on Hitler's 1934 Nuremberg Rally put on by equally controversial Toronto film connoisseur, Reg Hartt, at the Cineforum (a make-shift theatre in his home).
Building Teams and Teamwork
A tight knit team is a group of competent individuals who care deeply about each other and are fiercely committed to their mission. They are highly motivated to combining their energy and expertise to achieve the common objective.
Make the Most of Your Mentoring Relationships
Mentoring is one of the best ways to learn, to get feedback, and to take your career to the next level. Here are ten tips for making the most of your mentoring relationships.
C4 Leadership: Taking Your Leadership (and your Life) from Good...To Explosive!
Chances are if you're interested in this post, you're looking for a few tips to take your leadership and/or your life, up a notch or two. Read on for a few things that have really helped me make my leadership more explosive after first defining what C4 is.
Communication Skills & Leadership - Organizational Communications Processes in Leadership Activity
"Sooth 't were a pleasant life to lead,With nothing in the world to doBut just to blow a shepherd's reed,The silent season thro'And just to drive a flock to feed,-Sheep - quiet, fond and few!"- Laman BlanchardCommunication skills give leaders ways to connect with, understand and influence the needs of people. It would be so very pleasant to live the life depicted in Blanchard's musings.
The Essence of Leadership
What is more important, leadership or teamwork? Leadership or consensus management? Today we hear frequently about teams, team-building, and teamwork on the one hand and management by consensus on the other. Although both teamwork and consensus building are critical skills in a leader, neither are substitutes for capable leadership itself.
Leadership Tips From My Dad
5 Leadership Power Principles!
95% of Workers Fail Because of This..
The Compassion Paradox
Effective leaders are comfortable with paradox. They can call on skills and work in ways that seem to be contradictory.
Leadership Skills - 10 Ways to Beef Up
10 Ways to Beef Up Your Leadership SkillsHave you ever heard someone say, "Actually, I have to admit that I think I am really bad at managing other people. My staff all hate me and I'm incapable of doing my job".
People or Objects? - - You Decide
"How you think determines how you act. How you act, in turn, determines how others react to you.
Getting Things Done, Without the Sweat!
How do you get your people on your side? And once their on your side, how can you get them to do anything you want? It's a skill that we all want. Nothing's better than leaving the hard work for someone else! But how?Do You Have It In You?Getting what you want and deserving it are two totally different things! Do you think it's reasonable to order a task onto your subordinate? Do you think it's acceptable to call up a friend only when you want something? Or how about being nice to someone just to butter them up but ignore them otherwise?No way! No fair!What would you think if someone treated you like that? Well this happens all the time.
Leadership For Deep Results: Without Them Are You Wasting Your Leadership And Your Life? (Part One)
I've challenged all leaders I have worked with during the past two decades to achieve "more results faster continually."They can get on track to start achieving such results not by working harder and longer but by slowing down and using Leadership Talks on a daily basis.
Seven Personal Characteristics Of A Good Leader
How often have you heard the comment, "He or she is a born leader?" There are certain characteristics found in some people that seem to naturally put them in a position where they're looked up to as a leader.Whether in fact a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate.
Leadership A Perspective From Tao
Tao Te Ching said to be written by Lao Tzu during the period of warring states in china around the second century B.C.
3 Elements of Leadership Power!
In an article discussing the need for innovative products and profitable service offerings, Vinutha V., points out that, "improvements are only the expected results, not the source of competitive advantage.
Leadership - Push vs. Pull?
At your next staff meeting consider leading your team through the following discussion.This lesson is focused on getting people to think in terms of effective leadership.
Would Socrates Be A Celebrity Today?
Last week, as I was standing in the checkout line of my local grocery store, I found myself staring at the dozen or so magazines on display. As I gazed upon the various photos and headlines praising or trashing the celebrity du jour, I got to thinking.
Leadership is About Growing Others - Its Not About You!
"Before you become a leader success is all about growing yourself. Once you become a leader success is all about growing others.
Leadership - Connect to Engage!
It's been said many times that true leadership is measured by ones ability to motivate and influence others.Leaders must work hard at motivating people to take action necessary to drive change and to ultimately increase results.
|© 2016 Definition Of Leadership & Career Consulting Limited