Do you have a good sense of your capacity for Resilience? Do you know you have what it takes to cope with constant change? When something goes wrong at work, how do you react? Do you devote time to addressing the problem immediately, burning the midnight oil until it’s solved? Maybe you ignore the problem, hoping it goes away or someone else solves it? Perhaps you maintain an even keel, but end up drinking more and eating less healthfully as a coping mechanism. What about problems with your home life? Do you seek help or carve out time for working them out in a healthy manner? Or do you bring your troubles to work, letting your mood and distractedness serve to undermine the atmosphere in the office?
Think hard about how you answered those questions; they are all indicators of what you bring to bear in terms of resilience in the face of change or challenge. Things like illness, project setbacks, and relationship stressors are all common difficulties that we all face from time to time, but such problems carry a special weight for those in leadership roles. It’s one thing for individual team members to struggle and provide a bit of a drag on their projects or their working groups, but it’s quite another thing for those charged with providing direction and motivation to deal with difficulty for extended periods of time. When the leadership team struggles, the effects can ripple through the entire organization.
Resilient leaders are aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and habits. They know how to structure their habits for optimal health, productivity, and balance. This self-awareness means they can detect when a pattern of bad habits crops up and affects performance, and know what steps to take in order to get back on track. This self-awareness is not fool-proof, however. Leaders are human, and humans are imperfect creatures with varying reserves of resources, habits, needs, and desires. Sometimes things can slip beyond a person’s ability to rein them back in. Sometimes, outside help is needed, sometimes not. But knowing our strengths in real-time during periods of difficulty is an important tool in a leader’s belt.
Every leader is different, and has arrived at their station in his or her own way. Some leaders are very good at self-assessment and have learned to find healthy, effective methods of mitigation and elasticity. Other leaders may have achieved a high level of success through trial-and-error perseverance, but find that the toolkit they used to get there might not work as effectively in a new environment. Still others might never have encountered a true challenge or difficulty until the moment they elected to assume the leadership role; these leaders might need to learn a whole new framework of awareness and assessment. Do you have a good sense of your capacity for Resilience?
At Karlin Sloan & Company, one of the services we offer is an in-house Resilience Assessment for people interested in third-party insights into their Resilience strengths and challenges. Visit our store to learn about this and other valuable tools for leaders.