5 Ways To Build Resilient Leadership In Challenging Times

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  • 20 May 2023
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The genie has escaped, and organizations cannot return to their previous state. The consequences of covid will be felt by leaders and organizations for many years to come.

You are not alone if you are experiencing the stress and load of leadership. A new and more complex terrain is posing challenges to many leaders.

Why do some people prosper while others fail? Resilient leadership is the key to leaders thriving in this new landscape.

But what exactly is resilient leadership, and why is it so crucial? How can you develop resilient leadership qualities so that you may thrive in difficult, disruptive, and chaotic times?

In this essay, I will discuss five crucial tactics for thriving as a resilient person.

What Is Resilient Leadership?

According to New Scientist, "resilience" refers to “your reaction to stress and how quickly you return to normal after the stressor has passed.”

According to this definition, stress and resilience are closely intertwined. Stressed-out leaders will find it far more difficult to be resilient. Stress management becomes an important aspect in developing leadership resilience.

Is Resilient Leadership Critical to Leadership Success?

"Building resilience is critical to becoming a leader who can successfully navigate through challenges and guide others with courage and conviction," according to a Zenger Folkman research.

Folkman discovered that resilient leaders are perceived as more effective by their superiors, peers, and direct reports.

"Resilience is not an end state of being, but rather a process of adaptation and growth within a risky landscape," according to an in-depth research on leadership and resilience. In a changing and uncertain world, a resilient organization not only survives but thrives."

If the leader falls. The team is destroyed. You are the captain of the ship as a leader. Building your resilient leadership talents guarantees that you and your team arrive safely.

Is Resilience a Learned or Innate Trait?

Neuroscience research has discovered that the brain is very plastic, or malleable. In his book, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge provided numerous examples of brain plasticity. As a result, you are not fixed at birth and can learn how to build resilience.

This will be easier for some than for others. The good news is that the more you are exposed to difficult situations, the more opportunities you will have to develop resilient leadership qualities.

Because it is meant to help you grow, learn, and adapt, your brain can aid you with this. This is a built-in survival mechanism.

As a result, the higher the problems, the greater the chance for growth and development.


5 Ways to Build Resilient Leadership in Challenging Times

1. Growth Mindset

Developing a growth mindset is a critical component of developing resilient leadership. Your ability to respond adaptively to adversities is defined as resilience. Adaptability necessitates change, and positive change leads to growth.

Adversity is the quickest method to grow and create new chances. Without adversity, there would be no growth, and without growth, you would be unable to reach your full potential.

Learn to see every obstacle as a chance to become the best version of yourself. You can always count on me to find the answers. But first, you must locate them.

You are not required to find things out on your own. Make use of the pooled brainpower of your team and coworkers.


Next time you're upset or overwhelmed by a scenario, ask yourself, "How could I approach or think about this situation differently?" Who would be the ideal person or people to discuss this with?

There is always a greater self within. Don't pass up any chance to awaken your higher self.

The truth is that you do not have to remain stressed or stuck. When you adopt a growth attitude, there is always a solution.

2. Mindfulness

Scientists and self-help gurus frequently say that brooding on our troubles while ignoring the present is a source of stress and suffering. Mindfulness and mindfulness practices like meditation have been shown to improve our moods and overall health.

I'm sure you're familiar with the voice in your head that never stops talking. It is always tempting to judge, complain, compare, and rate everything as excellent or terrible. It continually disrupts your attention, clarity of thought, decision-making, and mental peace.

This similar voice frequently gets in the way of your potential to be a resilient leader. How much more productive and optimistic would you be if you could control your inner critic?


Mindfulness and meditation practices can assist you in controlling your inner critic. If you are new to these practices, the two easy and efficient strategies listed below can assist you.

3. Being Present

Being in the present now is strong because you are not constrained by limiting beliefs and failures from the past, nor are you concerned about the future. When you are in the present moment, you have complete access to the power of your mind.

Consider the example of professional athletes to highlight the power of being in the present moment. Why do they perform well one day and poorly the next? Did their abilities vanish overnight?

Consider a tennis player prepared to serve the ball. When they look up, they notice that it is breakpoint. Their thoughts and focus abruptly shift to the future and what will happen if they lose focus. That implies less effort and concentration on hitting the target.

But what if they forgot about the scoreboard and entered the current moment?

They accomplish this by concentrating solely on serving the ball. They are so focused that their minds may even alert them to their opponent's tiny movement in a specific direction. This allows them to simply modify their serve and win the point.

This is how great players win matches on a consistent basis. They recognize the value of focusing their thoughts and attention on the current moment. Being preoccupied with the scoreboard will always take you out of the present moment.

Your capacity to succeed as a leader is dependent on your ability to grasp the power of the current moment. It also means that your need for resiliency becomes obsolete. This is because resiliency is a natural byproduct of being in the present moment.



So, how do you practice being in the moment?

Concentrate on taking one step at a time. Move from one moment to the next, much as a tennis player concentrates on one shot at a time.

Begin with a simple task you do every day, such as speaking with a team member.

Assume you are the tennis player, and the ball is a team member. Concentrate your entire attention and focus on the team member, and take one step at a time.

If thoughts arise to distract you, proceed as previously discussed. Then, return your concentration to the team member.

The more you experiment with it, the more intriguing it becomes. Every time you do this, you will acquire more understanding and clarity because you are giving all of yourself to the work, not just a portion of yourself. You are made up of both your conscious and creative unconscious minds.

4. The Power of Purpose

Consider one example of how the force of purpose fosters resilience.

Consider taking a road trip. However, your car breaks down not long into the journey. Fortunately, you locate an auto technician who repairs your vehicle, and you are able to resume your journey.

You have reserved overnight accommodations due to the length of the journey. You arrive at the motel much later than intended, drained and tired. When you arrive at the reception area, you are informed that there was a mix-up and that your reservation was given to someone else.

You're all set to shout. You decide to sleep in your car since you have no other option.

The next morning, you set out again. A wild hog runs out in front of your automobile as you drive down a deserted road. You swerve to avoid the hog and wind up in a roadside ditch. A strong rainstorm throughout the night causes your car to become stranded.

You think to yourself, "You know what? This isn't supposed to happen. I'm experiencing far too many issues. "I believe I will return home."

As you're thinking this, a man in a four-wheel drive vehicle pulls over and assists you in getting your car out of the ditch.

You resumed your journey after thanking the man. After a few hours of traveling, you decide to pull over and get some food.

You find your wallet is missing as you try to pay for your dinner. It must have dropped out of your pocket as you were attempting to pull the car out of the ditch. At this point, you've had enough of your road trip and have decided to return home.

This is how leadership works. You may encounter one problem after another, leaving you anxious and defeated.

To return to our scenario, what if you set out on your journey with a clear goal of arriving at your destination?

Perhaps the goal was to see your parents, whom you haven't seen in two years due to unforeseeable circumstances. It's been the longest time since you've seen them. They are excited to see you, and you are excited to see them.

What do you think you'd do if you discovered you'd left your wallet on the side of the road? Would you choose to return home? Or would seeing your parents motivate you to return, retrieve your wallet, and continue your journey?


What motivates you to do what you do? Why did you decide to become a leader? What is your primary "why"?

A strong "why" is vital for developing resilient leadership. Nothing can ever stop or beat you once you've developed a strong enough "why."

5. Keep It Real

Instead of utilizing circles, you may simply use lists. The benefit of employing circles is that it improves your brain's cognitive thinking ability, making the task faster and easier to accomplish. This will be improved further by using various colored marker pens for each circle.

List your worries in the first circle of the model above. List the items you have control over in the second circle. List the concerns you can address in the third circle.

Finally, rank the elements in the third circle in order of significance. Create implementation plans for your top two priorities.


When you're stressed or worried about anything, ask yourself, "What evidence do I have that supports my concern about this situation?"

It is important to note that you will require actual proof that may be used in a court of law. Feelings and preconceptions are irrelevant. These are based on past experiences or future concerns. They are unrelated to the current situation.

Most of the time, you will discover that your concerns are unfounded. They are, instead, a fiction you have made up in your imagination. It is fiction, not fact.

Make a decision to stick to facts rather than your stories.

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