When the going gets tough...
I've been running my own corporate training business, NRG Solutions, since 2005. Prior to that I played cricket professionally for 5 different teams, in Australia and England. That's 5 teams who decided at some point in time, they no longer required my services!
Cricket teaches you many things. How to use sandpaper should not be one of them.
It taught me the importance of teamwork, shared goals, honesty, accountability and resilience. You have plenty of tough days. To survive as a player the one trait you must develop is resilience. Without it, you're finished.
Last month I spoke at a conference in Chile on the topic of resilient leadership. The ability to keep going in the face of adversity.
I've often wondered why is it that some leaders are more resilient than others? Did they attend some special course or are they just born that way?
Some people seem to quickly bounce back from setbacks, whilst others take a lot longer. Some people are never able to fully recover. Everyone is different. We have all been raised in different environments, with different values.
The best leaders I work with are always looking for ways to become more resilient. It's not so much a question of how much resilience you currently have, rather, how can I become more resilient?
For you to continue to flourish in your career, your ability to deal with setbacks is critical. Every chance you get put your hand up for opportunities. Take measured risks. Be willing to change. By working outside your comfort zone you will develop skills and character that you may never have realised you possessed.
Remember if you change nothing - nothing changes.
Here are 3 ways you can start to improve your Mental, Physical and Emotional resilience.
1. Mental Resilience:
Resilient leaders reflect each day. They ask themselves; "What did I learn from today?". They use positive language when talking with their colleagues and peers. You will hear them saying:
" It's annoying we lost that account. What could we do differently next time to ensure that doesn't happen again?”
" I take full responsibility for that project not being successful. I've learnt a lot from that experience".
" That's not working well at the moment. How can we fix it?"
Resilient leaders recognise, there is no blame, only reasons. They don't beat themselves up over things that haven't worked out. They accept that life is not a game of perfect.
The French philosopher Voltaire famously said, "Perfection is the enemy of good".
Blaming others is a sign of a weak, insecure leader. Resilient leaders take responsibility, dust themselves off and get on with the business of leading their troops. Inspiring their teams to keep going through the good and not so good times. If their team has issues, they deal with them. They don't tip toe around them, hoping they will go away. Their mindset is fixed on solutions.
Resilient leaders have the ability to think clearly, especially when under pressure. They work on developing their mind. They think, act and talk like leaders. They allow themselves time each day for reflection and meditation, or mindfulness. As little as 3 minutes per day, calmly meditating in a quiet, peaceful location can make an enormous difference.
2. Physical Resilience:
I've noticed that I make better decisions and am more resilient when I'm physically fitter. You don't need to be rushing to the gym every day. That's not suitable for everyone.
Find physical activities that suit you, your age and your lifestyle. It could be as simple as parking the car a bit further from your office or getting off the bus a few stops before you normally do. Keep moving. On a daily basis.
A 30 day challenge can be a great way to keep started with exercise. Make exercise a habit, and you'll never have to think about it. If you allocated the same amount of time each day to exercise as you do to social media you'd soon be in great shape.
3. Emotional Resilience:
The most resilient people I know are not doing it alone. They build a strong team around them. Think closely about who is in your team. You are the chairman of selectors. Choose wisely. Surround yourself with a team of high quality people you like and trust. This might include your GP, health professionals, your spouse, a coach or mentor, a few close friends and family.
The team that surrounds you is very important. They want you to be successful. They believe in you and you must believe in them.
- What can I learn from this experience?
- Where is the opportunity for me in all of this?
- What's the next small step to get me moving forward?