It is one thing to
feel battered. It is an entirely
different thing to feel resilient and powerful to
What struck me about this survey is not
that top leaders in business are
feeling battered, it is clear that nobody is
immune to the impact of this economy. But instead,
what was evident in this research is that leaders
choose to manage these feelings in a productive
Resilience isn't just about "toughing it
out". Resilience is about being flexible, bending
and adapting to the forces beyond your
Rigidity is the opposite of
We often hear people speak of resilience when it
comes to children. When a child confronts change
or difficulty, we often say: "They'll be
fine, kids are so resilient." I
would agree, except to say that they will be resilient
only if they have developed trust in themselves and in
Usually when children exhibit a lack of resilience
or rigidity it is because they are insecure and
mistrusting of the "new" experience or change.
I have experienced this dynamic with my
daughter Leila who is adopted from Russia. She
wasn't able to build trust early, since the first 11
months of her life contained no predictability or
security, only a revolving door of
caretakers. As a result, her ability to
be resilient is sometimes lower
than other children.
I have taken steps to help her build her
resilience and with these steps, I have also built
my own resilience. No one is immune
to a lack of trust and in order to build
resilience, we must firm up our feeling of trust in
I think these steps can help you become a
better leader at work and in your life by enabling
you to become more resilient during these difficult
1. Build predictability into the areas
which you control in your everyday routine.
2. Before you do anything, make it a
conscious choice. For example: "I am
choosing to work out today."
3. Know that every choice has a
consequence. Get clear on what consequence you
4. Ask yourself throughout the day, "What
will I choose to do next?" Ensure that your
actions are driven by you.
5. When things happen to you outside of your
control, know that you have a choice in what to do with
that. You can't change or control others' actions.
Every action has a reaction. Choose your reaction
I can't control what others are telling me about
the economy, I can only choose how to react to it.