When Things Get Tough

Resilience is the ability to bounce back with ease from whatever might throw you off balance unexpectedly. In leadership, this can happen in any number of ways too numerous to count, and it can happen on a routine basis.

  • Did the coffee shop screw up your latte again?
  • Did the client change their requirements?
  • Did you miss out on getting the promotion you deserved?
  • Did you get laid off or fired?

Resilience is one of the table stakes of becoming an effective leader. One thing to remind ourselves of is that no matter how skilled you are, remaining grounded when losing your balance as a leader is as much a part of the role as regaining your footing when you find yourself careening into a tailspin; something pilots must learn how to overcome before getting their wings to fly.

No matter what your situation, the next step after the setback defines your leadership resiliency.

We see this displayed in the news. A company faces a situation that causes its stock to plummet, or its image to falter in the consumer’s eyes. This could be due to a natural disaster, past business decisions that are now questioned by employees or the public, or a myriad of other events.

The resilient CEO gets up in front of their employees and explains the situation and how the company plans to mediate the damage or bounce back. The stronger the relationship is between leaders and their followers, the greater possibility for overcoming setbacks.