When you think about leaders who inspire you, or even if you look at great leaders portrayed in film, these individuals are defined not by their highs, but by their lows. They are motivational because they face challenges, they rally, and they push through them.
This is a leader that has one of the most important characteristics for good leadership: resilience. Regardless of what your goals may be, you are going to face challenges in both your personal life and your professional life. Are you going to let these challenges be roadblocks that derail you from your career goals, or are you going to bounce back quickly?
To develop your resistance, you must understand what this important characteristic entails. Diane Coutu, in the Harvard Business Review, divides resilience into the following three building blocks:
• Facing Reality – Coutu explains that while optimism has its place, it is important to maintain a realistic view of reality. In order to be prepared to deal with your current circumstances, you must be able to view and accept them as they truly are. This includes not blowing them out of proportion or viewing the world through rose-colored glasses.
• Finding Meaning – All too often, people dealing with hardships feel as if they are being unfairly punished, and that the suffering is pointless. A resilient person looks at a difficult period or a monumental challenge as an opportunity to learn or a way to grow. They are able to find meaning in the misery. Not only are they better prepared to make it out of a troubling time, but they find ways to improve themselves, and/or their company, in the process.
• Making the Most of Your Situation – The third building block of resilience is being able to make due with the resources that are available. A resilient leader is able to assess the situation, and use even meager amounts of support to invent a solution. This makes it possible for them to bounce back quickly, able to improvise in nearly any situations, which are extremely valuable skills in the world of business.
Leaders can be positive, approachable, and even sensitive people, but they also need resilience, including all of the building blocks listed, in order to be able to endure through all of life’s challenges. Obstacles await everyone; only the most resilient leaders will make it easily across the finish lines, reaching their career goals.
Executive Coach Monique Betty is a leading provider of career and leadership coaching for high potential professionals in the workplace. For the past 9 years she has provided virtual one-on-one and in-person group coaching services to satisfied clients across the country.