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The Role of Resilience in Leadership

Strap in, it’s part three for our 7 Deadly Skills. In this series, we’re counting down the top skills we think you need to be an amazing leader and grow a fantastic team.

For this piece, we’ll be talking about resilience. Resilience is a core leadership skill that can inspire the people around you, drive your business ahead during hardship and ultimately unlock your full growth potential.

The Importance of Resilience in Leadership

Resilience is all about how we meet adversity and setbacks and recover from them. A leader without resilience will struggle to cope under pressure and adapt to disruptive change. This is why it is such a critical skill to possess.

Not only is it important for leaders to cultivate resilience in themselves, but it’s imperative that they also pass this down to the team around them. A business can only advance and thrive if the people around them feel they have a strong head at the helm. A leader who can’t keep it together when it really counts isn’t going to instil confidence in the people around them, which is going to lead to stunted growth and higher levels of staff turnover.

Leadership in Times of Crisis

Resilience comes into play in all aspects of day-to-day life, but in some instances, it’s more critical than others. Anytime there’s a change, big or small, that’s impacting your business – your team will be looking to you as an example of how to work through it.

Building up your resilience when you’re facing seemingly small instances of change is crucial, as it establishes a secure foundation for when something truly life-changing happens. No business is immune to unpredictable threats and situations; the last couple of years provide the perfect example of that.

The businesses that have survived (and thrived) through such testing circumstances are those with a tenacious and resilient leader at the helm. Keeping your cool under pressure and seeing the opportunity for positive change when faced with adversity are your keys to seeing your business through the hard times )and coming out the other side stronger!)

The consequences of leading without resilience? Sometimes irreparable. Unfortunately, a business without a resilient leader may well be the business that ends up having to close its doors for good.

Resilient Leadership Qualities

Resilience goes hand in hand with several admirable leadership qualities, so it’s no wonder that it has firmly secured its place on our 7 Deadly Skills list. Here are a few key qualities that we think make resilient leaders stand out from the pack:

Clear Vision & Purpose

A resilient leader is able to align their vision and purpose seamlessly. When challenging circumstances arise, maintaining your confidence and staying true to your initial vision will help your team to band together and adapt to challenging conditions in a way that still aligns with your ethos.

Developed Awareness

Awareness falls under several critical leadership skills, and it’s no different when it comes to resilience. A leader who’s aware, and can anticipate what’s happening around them, will be better equipped to make the right decisions in a high-stakes situation.

Tackles Challenges Tenaciously

Tenacity’s role in resilience is multi-faceted. A leader not only needs to be able to deploy the right resources and effort to succeed, but also must have the ability to accept that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Sees Growth as a Necessity

Staying the same isn’t the way to succeed, and a leader who possesses a growth-centric mindset is one we should all aspire to be. Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and identifying a plan to grow is extremely important. That goes for the people around you and yourself.

Resilient Leadership Development

Now, we’ve covered why resilience is important, and we know what resilience in leadership looks like. But, what if you’re not a naturally resilient person? Is all hope lost?

Of course not, don’t be daft. Resilience is something we can all learn and develop, although it will take time and effort. Here are a few best practices to get you started:

Communicate Effectively

A resilient leader doesn’t travel alone, they bring their team on their business journey with them.

Communicating your plans clearly and effectively to the people around you will make change management smoother and leave your team feeling secure and more confident.

Become a Trusted Partner

If your business is going to thrive in challenging times, you need the trust of your team behind you. Building this trust should start from day one, even when the waters are calm.

This means when a crisis does come about, you already have the right team dynamics and relationships in place to make the necessary changes you have to.

Embrace Risk, Change & New Perspectives

We’ve probably used the word ‘change’ as much as we’ve used the word ‘resilience’ in this article, and there’s a reason! For the former to work, you need the latter. Practice seeing change as opportunity and don’t be afraid to embrace risks and different perspectives when you come across them.

We’re not saying to put it all on red, but we are prompting you to ensure you’re not staying rooted in ‘tried and tested’ ways that will stunt your business’s potential in the future.

Take Joy in the Small Things

Training yourself to appreciate the little things at work creates positive leadership and overall will boost team morale. A workforce that is only praised for the big wins may be left feeling deflated – especially if times are tougher and those bigger wins are few and far between.

A team with a leader who also recognises the small wins will feel uplifted and ultimately work harder. It will also circle back around to building up those trust levels we’ve already spoken about.

Sit back and relax, you’ve made it through resilience. It’s a big one, but that’s only because it’s so important and (especially now) it’s super relevant. If you’re thinking of putting resilience on the back burner until you need it, you’re setting yourself up for a fail. The truth is, you already need it – even if it all seems like smooth sailing right now.

Don’t panic though, you’re not on your own in this. Luckily for you, you’re already in the right place. Reach out to us today on to speak with us about how you can develop and grow both yourself and your team.


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