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Resiliency: Leading The Way

, January 1, 2014, 0 Comments

Resiliency Leading The Way-MarketExpress
Being and Becoming Resilient in Life and Leadership & Leading the way.

When I began my life as a working professional in Mumbai, I worked at a Belgian pharmaceuticals company. I reported into Atul*.  Atul had lost his savings in a failed business venture, was going through a divorce because of that and was under employed in his current job that he had taken up in desperation. He never moaned about his situation. He mentored and coached me while I was employed there and took to working on his cartooning skills during lunch hour. He seemed to look forward to a bright future. I often wondered about his approach to life. Others, including me, may have become bitter, depressed and negative in life. What was it that Atul had that made him survive and push through his hardships? Many monsoons later I learnt that Atul was a resilient man.

Recently, while watching KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati, a popular game show on Indian television) with Amitabh Bachchan, a star in the Indian film industry, also known as Bollywood, I understood that he is resilient too! He met with a near fatal accident during a movie shoot, had failed in politics, business ventures and of course he battled and is battling various health issues. But, he pushed on and never gave up. Cynics would say, that he had the money and the best care and help. But, despite the money, there are many who fail in the attitude department.

And, of course, who more resilient than my favorite leader Nelson Mandela!? He stayed in jail for 27 years, emerged a determined soul and set an example for other world leaders. He is no more, but he has left behind a legacy of resilience and attitude.

About resiliency
Life is challenging, we all know that. Some of us have visible problems and others not so visible ones. Overcoming challenges requires us to get up after we are knocked down with a “Never Give up” attitude. Our ability to handle misfortune or life’s tough deals and bounce back from them makes us resilient human beings. Well, you may say easier said than done. True, but it is this quality of resiliency that keeps us moving forward. Our attitude determines our behaviour and therefore action in our life.

What Resilient People Do
Resilience is a quality that is seen in both, life and business. You can see this quality in the sporting field, in a hospital rehab ward or in the corporate sector.

Resilience has these building blocks

Being self-aware and therefore knowing yourself helps you in making decisions that suit your ideals and values. When tough decisions have to be made, resilient people rely on their value system and use their living principles to follow through. So go ahead and find your True North.

When things look dim, resilient people find a meaning or a purpose in what they do. Victor Frankl believes that having a meaning and purpose in life is critical. When we find meaning in something we do, it gives us vigor and enthusiasm. When leaders find and believe in an organizational change program, they ensure that the change is anchored in the organization’s DNA.

We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed” – Viktor Frankl

It is what it is
Resilient people accept the situation for what it is and move on. They see misfortune as an opportunity and make the best of it. When Steve Jobs was asked to leave Apple, he went out and created NeXT Computer, another brilliant move. He did not sit around thinking that it was the end of the world.

The concept of bricolage
This concept was introduced by French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. Simply put, it means making use of whatever we have in hand, at our disposal at a given point in time. Leaders have to make good of a project with lesser resources almost always. A resilient leader does this without fretting and by being innovative.

Failure as a stepping-stone

Helen Keller said, “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

When we face tough situations, we need to push ourselves to solve our problems by thinking differently and stretching ourselves and sometimes getting out of our comfort zone. Think of a situation in your life. The tougher the situation the more you learnt, developed and grew as a person. A resilient leader does not allow failure to dishearten him/her too much. The leader learns from it, uses the opportunity to grow and sets an example for team members.

Do you want to sit in a corner and mope saying life is mean to me or chin up and move on?

You can read:
Man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl
True North by Bill George with Peter Simms
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