Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022
Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022

Megan Burns

What’s coming to Netflix this November
What’s coming to Netflix this November

Lauren Heskin

The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a sperm donor’
The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a...

Amanda Cassidy

What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality
What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality

Amanda Cassidy

The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin
The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin

Megan Burns

Penn Badgley and Cardi B just won this week’s Most Unlikely Friendship Award
Penn Badgley and Cardi B just won this week’s Most Unlikely Friendship Award

Lauren Heskin

50 bricks and mortar Irish shops to support this Christmas
50 bricks and mortar Irish shops to support this Christmas

Eoin Higgins

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far


by Sinead Brady
05th Feb 2018
Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far

‘Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor’ said Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 20th century. One of my all time favourite quotes, it captures the inevitability of setbacks in our lives and the power those setbacks have to make us better if we adapt the right mindset. Examples of skilled sailors are plentiful but three of my personal favourites are J.K Rowling, whose first Harry Potter book was rejected by no less than twelve publishers; Anna Wintour, who as a junior editor was fired for being “too edgy”; and Oprah Winfrey who was demoted from her first TV newsreader role as a twentysomething.

We, just like Rowling, Wintour, and Winfrey don’t get to choose our rough seas but we do remain in control of our reaction to the storm surges. Resilience is our ability to keep moving forward in the face of disappointment. Not to be mistaken with Pollyanna positivity,  true resilience is maintaining passion and perseverance in the direction of our goal, even when we fall down. Luckily, it’s a trait that can be learned. And learn we should- Professor Angela Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania, has found that ‘grit’, and not talent or luck, is one of the hallmarks of a great leader.

Based on her research here are five strategies for building your resilience for the next time you’re faced with a setback:

No pity parties

After something doesn’t go well it’s very easy to throw a pity party and ask, ‘Why Me?’ In many ways a perfectly normal reaction but as leaders it is our responsibility to lead both in the good and bad times. Pity parties are counterproductive and benefit nobody. Time is precious so don’t linger on the disappointment. Instead move from thought to action.

Learn from experience

This may sound like a cliché, but it is vitally important. Learning leaders are a force to be reckoned with. Take out a pen and paper and write down what the experience has taught you. The list will be longer than you think but preserve and ask yourself –

‘What was the best part of this experience?’

‘What was the worst part of this experience?’

‘What did I learn from this?’

‘What would I do differently next time?’

Good leaders find lessons in their failures. Great leaders apply those learnings in the future.

Listen to people while avoiding negativity

We all have negative people in our lives. The ones who never have anything positive to say and seem to enjoy failure. Offering no solutions, the temptation is to ignore them yet as a resilient leader it is your job – albeit a challenging one – to listen to the concerns of every member of your team (even the annoyingly negative ones). Everyone has the potential to offer insight and therefore solutions. Listen and learn from all your team. Be candid, clear and transparent in how you speak with, listen to and digest all concerns. Understanding the catalogue of concerns may actually hold the key to unlocking the insight you need.

Be agile

It’s always good to have a plan B. Even though you have no intention of using it, plan B must be just as well thought out as plan A. Your Plan B provides you with a pre-meditated menu of options for when the proverbial hits the fan. Consider all potential options, you might even look at another industry for innovativation and inspiration. So, whatever your plan B is, the important thing is to have one, that you are ready to implement it and that you are agile in adapting it if needs be.

Invest in yourself

A lot of setbacks are beyond our control. So, instead of beating yourself up, do just the opposite. Look after yourself, mentally and physically. Get the basics right – eat a meal of clean, nutritious food with your family or friends. Drink plenty of water. Get eight hours sleep. Do some exercise. By doing these things as often as possible you remain refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on your next leadership challenge.

Remember your team are always watching and learning from you. Your actions and reactions role model the future direction of your team, determine company culture and predict team engagement. Resilience displayed by you as a leader is the key which is capable of unlocking great potential in you and in your team.

Remember nothing goes exactly how we plan it so dealing with disappointment is a must-have leadership skill. We will all fall from time to time, it is how we choose to get back up that makes all the difference.

 

Photo credit: Jordan Donaldson, Unsplash

Also Read

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Resilience Is A Trait You Can Learn And It Will Take You Far
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan