5 Reasons Building Individual and Team Resilience is a Critical Leadership Ability.

Leaders face many challenges supporting, guiding and inspiring teams and are called upon to build a broad and versatile set of skills in order to be successful. Extraordinary leadership requires adaptability and responsiveness to a host of ongoing demands; now more than ever leaders must understand how to develop individual and team resilience if they want long-term success.

Resilience is not only the ability to bounce back after difficulty and to endure through tough times, it is also the ability to face a multitude of experiences with optimism, authenticity and genuine care for others. Resilient people are skilled in self-care, open to growth and transformation, and are grounded in the knowledge of their deepest personal values.  Building a Culture of Resilience for ourselves and in our organizations is critical right now for the following reasons.

  1. The pace of change in our workplaces and in society overall is lightning fast! Coping with and adapting to constant change is a serious stressor – resilient individuals will thrive while others may feel barely able to survive.


  1. 24/7/365 connectivity. Being connected, working from a chosen location, and the ability to easily cross time zones are all benefits of our hyper-connected lives, yet we also know how the constant draw of email, social media and the like can quickly cause burnout. Resilient leaders prioritize self-care and recovery time for themselves and their teams.


  1. Our teams are more diverse than ever. Diverse teams are more creative, innovative and adaptable than homogeneous teams and striving for diverse and inclusive workplaces is essential. Working in a diverse team will enrich all colleagues and will stretch us to listen and consider many perspectives and ideas – this is desirable, yet does take emotional energy, an open mind and a commitment to others that resilient people are more likely to bring.


  1. “Lone Ranger Leadership” no longer suffices. Say goodbye to the days of the singular, authoritarian leader who calls the shots and hello to collaborative, collective decision making, shared project management, global partnerships and inclusive leadership all of which rely on flexible, adaptable and resilient team members.


  1. Customers and clients demand personalized experiences. Regardless of your product, service or industry, cookie-cutter solutions will not move you and your team into the “big league.” Each sale, each proposal, each fiscal year will bring new expectations so static, unchanging solutions will leave you struggling to keep up. The steadiness and energy that resilient people bring to their work is a key component of success.

Regardless of the setting, building a culture of resilience is both urgent and important for leaders who are seeking high performance. Culture grows from (and is reflected in) the behaviors and practices of an organization, so seeking to be more resilient must become a priority that is acted upon throughout an organization – not just talked about or written into goal statements. What does that look like? Watch for the next post that outlines 7 areas of practice to build individual and organizational resilience.


Kristen M. Fragnoli, August 2018

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