As stress levels escalate, building greater resilience is more crucial than ever for sustained leadership effectiveness. However, resilience is not just your ability to push through to achieve long term goals. It’s also about performing at your peak on a daily basis.
There is an increasing focus on the subject of resilience and the significance of grit as a predictor of success. And rightly so. Today, when knowledge and skills can be equalised, resilience is the key differentiator to set apart leaders who can sustain their performance over time.
Resilience is generally defined as the ability to adapt well to change, bounce back from setbacks and to keep ploughing ahead despite adversity. Based on this definition, it’s easy to think of resilience as a skill to survive the long haul. But I believe there are two facets to resilience.
The first type of resilience is for the marathon towards your long term goals. It’s the endurance and mental toughness to keep pushing ahead despite the inevitable setbacks so that you’ll continue performing at high levels even under difficult conditions.
As Angela Duckworth says – “It’s the passion and perseverance for your very long term goals. It’s the stamina to stick to your future, believing in what’s possible and working hard to achieve it.”
The other type of resilience is the ability to handle your daily sprints at work. It’s about being able to stay on top of the constant barrage of priorities, endless meetings and urgent fires all demanding your attention from the moment you walk through the door …. and to do it all again the next day, and the next.
It’s about managing your energy. It’s the discipline of daily practices that refill your fuel tank so that you’re not entirely drained at the end of your workday … with nothing left to give to your personal life.
In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz talks about four key sources of energy – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. By mobilising these energy sources you can balance stress and recovery to perform at your peak on a daily basis.
Building greater resilience is not optional. It’s absolutely necessary for your success and mental wellbeing, and needed for both the marathon and your daily sprints.