Mar 30, 2020 | Leadership

The article below was first published March 30, 2020, on the Forbes Coaches Council website. As a Forbes contributor, I am honored to have my answer featured and hope that you find this article helpful as you navigate resiliency as a leader. – Sheri Nasim

To be a great leader, you must be resilient in the face of setbacks. Resilient individuals can adapt to big changes, remain calm under pressure and guide their teams through challenging periods—all of which are key to the continued success of a company. That’s why it’s important for business leaders to practice and build this skill.

To help you do this, we asked the experts of Forbes Coaches Council to share strategies and practices leaders can adopt to become more resilient. Their best answers are below:

1. Learn To RISE

Resilient people are able to think back and learn how to reframe and reset. I learned that I took the same steps to deal with a lot of leadership challenges and so created the RISE methodology: Reflect on what happened; Identify steps you may need to take to correct or improve; Strategize an action plan going forward; Execute on your action plan. Take these steps and RISE as a leader. – Joyel CrawfordCrawford Leadership Strategies, LLC.

2. Find The Lesson

Don’t waste energy worrying about the issue at hand—accept it, be curious about it and learn from it. Put your energy into both addressing it and learning what lesson this holds for you. Build that learning into how you behave and manage in the future. The cumulative effect is that you will become an increasingly wise and proactive leader, and challenges will be part of a process of growth. – Aric WoodXPLANE

3. Seek Inspiration From External Sources

Continuous development is critical for growth, but also to reenergize. Make it a habit to read inspirational books, attend seminars and go to industry conferences. Also, network with like minds. This can help keep you focused, motivated and give you the boost you need to remain resilient in the face of challenges. As leaders, we often take care of everyone else but forget to nurture ourselves. – Rosa VargasAuthentic Resume Branding & Career Coaching

4. Make Time Each Day For Positive Reflection

End each day with a brief yet thoughtful reflection on challenges, accomplishments, learning lessons, results and gratitude. This is not a time for beating yourself up, but for stopping to smell (and account for) the roses on your fast-driven path. Slowing down to focus on the positive, even in the worst of situations and for the briefest of times, allows you to reframe and stay motivated. – Laura DeCarloCareer Directors International

5. Own Your Story

Don’t be afraid to fail. Have courage to own your story for what it is. Take a moment to reflect on what happened. Pause and take a deep breath. Ask yourself tough questions and answer them honestly. Get curious instead of building a shield around you. Don’t ignore your feelings, nor your ego. Understand your voice to know who you are without pretending to be anything else. – Kasia JamrozConscious Leading Solutions L.L.C.

6. Develop Self-Awareness

Resilience is the ability to adapt to complex change. In today’s world of constant change, the demand for resilience is almost constant. The key to cultivating resilience is to know yourself first; be aware of your skills, your shortcomings and possible frustrations. Only then will you become a mindful leader and optimize your actions. – Lital MaromUNFOLD Media Group

7. Focus On Recharging, Not Enduring

Try changing the standard length of your meetings from 60 minutes to 45 minutes. This allows you to carve out 15-minute margins, or white space, to record and reflect before charging into the next hour. Building white space throughout your day will give you the time you need to turn information into knowledge, and knowledge into insight. – Sheri NasimCenter for Executive Excellence

8. Be Kind To Yourself

Leaders who adopt the practice of self-compassion will become more resilient. The attitude of “I have failed,” not “I’m a failure,” is the key mindset shift to allowing the brain to do its best work, being creative and engaged. This self-kindness will lead to revised strategies to be successful in the future. It will also model to others that in order to ultimately succeed, you must fail at times. – Deborah GoldsteinDRIVEN Professionals

9. Practice Self-Care

Exercise. Eat right. Get enough sleep. And, ensure you are taking time away from work to do the things you enjoy. For executives, this is easily stated and often difficult to implement. But like the disciplines we apply in our businesses that create success, we must employ similar discipline in our personal lives. This will enhance your resilience in your business. – Thomas Bradley CoxOliver Group

10. Take A Three-Pronged Approach

Resilience allows leaders to experience defeats and return more robust than before. I help clients with a three-pronged approach. Visualization techniques enable them to visualize their robustness through uncertainty and pitfalls. Somatic exercises increase awareness of what resilience feels like within the body. Acts of speech support the energy of steadfastness and lay groundwork for success. – James GlasnappJames Glasnapp Coaching

11. Acknowledge Your Feelings And Reassess

First, acknowledge what you are feeling and why. Don’t move past your feelings too fast. Next, look at what behaviors you can incorporate to look at the current situation and modify your actions. Create small action steps so you can continue to move forward and not become immobilized or procrastinate to avoid pain. Then celebrate even the smallest victory. Continue to reassess and move forward. – Christie CooperCooper Consulting Group

12. Aim For Consistency When Interacting With Your Team

One of the key components to resilience is consistency. Your team members need to trust that they can depend on you and your support regardless of the circumstances. That doesn’t mean you always agree with them or share honest feedback, but it does mean they have clear insight into your expectations and feel safe that you won’t fly off the handle from moment to moment. Consistency fosters trust. – Tonya EcholsVigere

13. Push Yourself To Continuously Learn

Leaders who continuously learn, gain certifications and push themselves become the best examples to those they manage. A lot of leaders get to a certain high position and salary that they think they can stop learning. This sets a poor example to those they lead. By setting this example, your team will seek out and learn new information faster, and all organizations need this energy. – John M. O’ConnorCareer Pro Inc.

14. Reframe The Struggle

The most innovative and intrinsically fulfilled leaders I know don’t pathologize adversity or struggle. They expect it, and see it as a breeding ground for new and better ideas. – Lisa ZigarmiThe Consciousness Project, LLC

Question: What practices would you recommend to become a more resilient leader?


Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!



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