Values to lead by – Resilience
In this blog series we have been looking at 5 values to lead by and this week it is the turn of ‘resilience’. Resilience has typically been seen as the ability to withstand huge amounts of pressure and survive. But I believe it is much more than the ability to survive, it is about a reflective attitude that allows you to thrive. Some, therefore, might debate whether resilience is a skill rather than a value. For me a value is a principle that drives behaviour. Resilience is a state of mind, an attitude, an approach that allows you to see possibilities and learning and growth. Carole Pemberton in her book on resilience cites areas of resilience. Self-belief; elasticity; meaning; solution finding; support; proactivity; emotional control and realistic positivity. It is about confidence in your actions, reviewing how things have gone and finding solutions. Without a doubt, resilience is a positive addition to the leadership toolbox, so here are my 5 reasons for resilience as a core value.
Purpose is a ‘double agent’ in the value of resilience. Having purpose fuels resilience and in turn resilience generates purpose. Purpose is understanding who we are and who we are here to serve. It is about about your self-belief and when you know what your function in life is, it enables you to be like the 1970 ‘weebles that wobble but don’t fall down’. Four years ago, when I was asked to leave being a headteacher, my purpose kept me going. My purpose was to ‘inspire and equip’ people to lead themselves and others. This self-belief kept me going, as my purpose remained and I just rebadged ‘what I do’. I inspired and equipped leaders instead of inspiring and equipping children and staff.
Resilience enables us to be reflective. When we have a value of resilience, instead of seeing each situation in life as a binary pass/fail, it instead becomes something to explore, reflect upon and learn from. What can I learn from this moment? During the first lockdown, 23rd March 2020 all diary bookings flushed out of the system. Resilience stopped this being a pass/fail moment. Instead, it became what opportunities will there be? What can I learn about myself and others? So, we switched to online coaching & training. As a result, it opened up new markets further afield. This year we have trained people in Wales, that made it more cost accessible as travel costs were not needed. We have a booking for some training for leaders in Thailand in June. All because resilience allowed us to be reflective.
When we are leading and it is not going so well, it can feel consuming. Resilience allows us to self-regulate. What else in life is going ok? What other projects are going well? Resilience also allows us to consider what we do in other areas of our life that we could transfer into the area of challenge. The ‘essence’ of what we do in ‘work mode’ can be taken into areas of our home life that we may struggle with and vice versa.
When we have balance, this then allows us to focus in on the area that actually needs addressing. In my coaching, we ask questions to allow people to see what the actual issue is. For example, if a member of staff is not contributing, we can ask what might contribute towards them not contributing? Is it they are not clear on the vision? Do they have the skills, resources or incentive? Once you know that you can focus in on the actual area. The value of resilience encourages you to ask questions, to be curious and inquisitive.
Lastly, resilience helps you find solutions. Because resilience is driven by an open curiosity, it helps you ask how can I thrive in this very moment? How can I be all of me in every moment? What can I bring to this moment?
If you want to develop your resilience, Jackie Frost (https://www.jacquifrost.co.uk/) and the team at Leadership43 run a resilience leaders programme. You may want to have a chat with Jacqui Frost, Cheryl Singleton or Joanne Stanley-Bell about joining this programme - https://leadership43.com/
Everyday Leader also has a range of coaching and simple assessments to help you discover your resilient areas and which areas you can develop. Do contact us if you would like our help at email@example.com.