The first article in this series focused on personal resilience—how individuals can use their energy more effectively during disruption. This second article will explore the role of leaders in creating an environment that supports resilience. If you haven’t read the first article, please do it now, as this one builds on the language and concepts introduced there.
As a leader, you create the conditions under which people flourish or suffer during change. You are a sculptor and architect of human energy. In a turbulent world, this is arguably the most important responsibility you bear. Here are a few thoughts on how to lead with resilience:
- Understand and manage your own responses to change. You are a human being first. If your energy is drained in turbulence, you won’t be much help to anyone else. In addition, once others see you as a leader, you automatically become a role model whether you like it or not. People will take their cues from you. If you are negative, unfocused, inflexible, disorganized, and risk-averse, they probably will be too. So it’s worth taking some time to become consciously competent about your own resilience.
It’s also important to know what to do if you are an exceptionally resilient person. In my experience, leaders in this situation face a specific and unusual set of challenges. They find change so energizing that they often stir things up without thinking about how others might react, and end up frustrating the people around them.
- Coach and support others in their resilience development. Formally or informally, you are in a position to help others build their resilience. This can take a lot of forms. You can simply be helpful and encouraging to others as they work their way through disruption—a listening ear, an open heart, and a set of willing hands are wonderful resources. You