In Action, Leaders

“Success isn’t determined by how many times you win, but by how you play the week after you lose.” – Pele

Leadership is a topic that’s been written and talked about for centuries, and all the writers and talkers have different perspectives on what makes a great leader.  Communication skills, work ethic, emotional intelligence, and on, and on.  One characteristic of great leaders that typically goes overlooked, and is especially critical these days, is resilience.

The dictionary defines resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.”  Aren’t those all qualities that are in high demand right now as leaders?  Is there anything in more demand?

I’m not suggesting all the other characteristics and capabilities of great leaders don’t matter, but none of them will matter much in the current environment if you’re not resilient.  Virtually everyone on earth is experiencing difficulties, and has been squashed out of shape, at least to some degree, if not economically then emotionally.

And yet, at some point soon, that will end and we will have to bounce back.  We will have opportunities.  Those opportunities may require us to change the way we do things, and perhaps even change what we do, but they will be there.  And you, as the leader, have to be ready.  You can’t have your head down thinking about how tough it is, or thinking that the world is ending, and that everything is going to be terrible from this point forward and on forever.

So as we approach those opportunities to bounce back, get yourself ready.  Stay positive.  Stay focused on things you can control.  Stay focused on facts and don’t let your imagination run wild.  Communicate constantly with the people in your organization.  Be thinking about the possible post-pandemic scenarios and how you might thrive in each.

There have been struggles and dark times before, and there will be again.  That’s part of life on this planet.  When you’re in a period like that, remember that those struggles don’t mean you’ve failed, or that you’re going to fail.  They just mean that you’re about to have the opportunity to lead your organization into a new future with new opportunities to succeed.  Get ready.

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