Effective leaders are resilient.
The Resiliency Center was founded by the late Al Siebert, PH.D who studied highly resilient survivors for over fifty years. The following words are from Dr. Siebert as he discusses problem-solving.
“One afternoon in July, I was teaching a resiliency workshop for a national corporation at their training center near Chicago. It was a very hot afternoon. The outside temperature was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. My classroom was on the sunny side of the building and very hot because the air conditioning unit in our room was not working. The participants and I had turned the thermostat on the wall down to 70 degrees, but the air conditioning unit, located under the window did not respond.
One participant dramatically fanned himself with a piece of paper, with a look on his face that communicated that he was irritated by his discomfort. You’ve probably seen people who do this. They become irritated by any discomfort, and draw attention to themselves in ways that indicate that someone is not paying attention to their needs.
Meanwhile, a participant named Brian went over to the air conditioner. He lifted up a small panel on the top and looked down into the dim interior. It was an older unit, without clear markings. He saw a dusty black knob located near the bottom of the unit, about two feet down. He reached down and turned it. As soon as he did this, the air conditioner kicked on. Our room cooled down and we held the class in comfort.”
According to Dr. Seibert, psychologists have lots of research evidence showing that problem-focused coping increases resiliency, while emotion-focused coping impairs resiliency. This means that when faced with a setback, unexpected difficulty, or challenge, it is smart to focus outward on the challenges. People who become emotional and make their feelings the focus of attention do not cope well with challenges in life or challenges at work.
Joseph P Kennedy is quoted as saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”
Effective leaders don’t whine about their problems—they do something about them. Many times it takes someone else to help you. The key is to work through the challenge, and not to let it beat you.
Can you share an example of being resilient in the context of leadership?