Bouncing Back Bigger: The Art of Leadership Resilience

As i reflected on one skill that every Leader has and must have, i could not do away with Resilience.

Let me share three observations of the many to reiterate my point.

In one organization, i saw a Program champion evangelize a new leader program. The program was deep, impactful and loved by the participants, which is quite a rare thing. The participants themselves became Brand ambassadors for the program and by word of mouth, it grew in leaps and bounds. In parallel, i saw that the Program champion’s peers did not support as much in the initial days but when the program was a hit, everyone owned its success, which is again not a rare thing. The third observation was more of the Program champion’s mindset. She was focused, determined to take it North, swam through all the apprehensions, smiled at critics and moved on. Her resilience and composure was stunning. This program went on to be one of the top 5 programs within and outside the organization. What i observed was sheer Resilience that shone brilliantly all along in the Program champion.

The second experience was that of a Business Leader. He was a dynamic combination of intellect and empathy, a role model to many. His Leadership insights were aplenty. This was capitalized by the organization as well. However, there was something else that he was experiencing in reality. The more successful he became, the more were the resistance to his ideas, which was strange but not unexpected. More minds worked to ensure his revolutionary ideas were laid to rest then and the same ideas were tweaked to be used in a different format later. In every situation, i saw that this Leader was his calm self, poised, mature with the highest level of Self-awareness being reflected in his Leadership. He was resilient and could turn around many situations for the good of the organization.

The third is that of a Woman Leader. She excelled at what she did and perfected the art of grooming other women Leaders. That called for a great deal of maturity and a lack of insecurity for sure. She went through the same journey as the other two. She was marginalized in many initiatives. What i again observed was her grace in accepting what could not be changed, but more than that, her ability to bring in an element of humor in many situations while dealing with it. A powerful approach and here again, her resilience helped her swim through. She went on to be become a Business Leader of a multinational eventually.

The lessons and perspectives of these three Leaders taught me one valuable lesson, the art and power of Resilience. A skill when practiced with commitment and self-awareness can turn around things quietly but with certainty.

As Jean Chatzky said, “Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.”



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