4 Ways to Build Leadership Resilience

Resilience is often described as a key characteristic of a tenacious and successful leader. The ability to lead despite obstacles is difficult but can make or break the success of a relationship, a project, or a company. But what defines a resilient leader? Mental toughness? Willpower and grit? Endurance?

Resilience can mean different things to different people. But, its essence refers to the ability to learn, adapt and persist in the face of adversity, criticism or doubt. Leading with clarity and conviction whilst maintaining a demeanour of calm confidence. Facing tough situations, head on with confidence and grace. What sets these types of leaders apart? What makes people mentally tough and able to battle and overcome obstacles? And most importantly, how can we all develop more resilience in our leadership?


Here are 4 thoughts to help build leadership resilience.

1. Get To Know Yourself

Getting to you know your coping mechanisms and how you perform under stress is crucial. In order to build leadership resilience, we must first meet ourselves where we are and take a look at past situations we have dealt with well and those we have not handled quite as well.

Take time to notice and note down how you dealt with a recent stressful situation and then your style of leadership resilience more broadly. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What could you personally work on? Is there something you admired from previous leaders you have had? Remember, good leaders, teach and lead by example. So, resilient habits will trickle down into the team you lead, in turn fostering better work and more diligent employees.

Physically writing daily notes can be beneficial. Buy a journal and note your reactions to pressurised situations. How could you improve on it? Research fear patterns and note your physical and mental reactions to challenging situations. Becoming more aware of your own reactions will also allow you to tune into your peer’s reactions to stressful and pressurized situations.

2. Get Physical

Overcoming physical challenges can build your overall character, resilience and mental strength. Exercise has a lot of benefits. Be it a run, a boxing session or a yoga class, the physical determination to keep going despite fatigue does great things for the mind. Any form of exercise, even just a short brisk walk, can help to bring clarity of mind and give perspective to a situation. Get inspired and get moving.

3. Get Inspired

In can be easy to become complacent. Choosing a consistent role model is an easy strategy to stay inspired and engaged. Following athletes, politicians and successful leaders who are on track for great things is a fantastic way to stay focused and engaged with your long-term goals. Learning about the adversity that others have faced and overcome can help you to reframe your perspective. It can also inspire others to do so. Not getting caught up in the slight problems which occur helps to build resilience and a greater ability to conquer larger hurdles.

4. Visualise Leadership Resilience

Visualisation is a key technique that has its earliest roots in Buddhist philosophy. It teaches you to visualize results and imagine key characteristics leading to this success. To become more resilient, you must first envision yourself as a more resilient character and visualize yourself acting with grace and strength when faced with obstacles. By considering future complications you can apply solutions to overcome them.

To perform under pressure, we cannot run away from it. We must get used to the feeling, grow to feel more comfortable in it and then move forward. It is the same as fear, you cannot run away from it. The constructive course of action is to sit with the fear until you can muster the energy and clear-headedness to move forward. Acclimatising to the pressure and seeing beneficial results creates courageous habits and instils a greater sense of confidence; in yourself and those, you are leading.

Follow these tips to develop your ‘GRIT,’ and enhance your leadership resilience. Build courage, resolve, and strength of character, and it will transmit to the team in your leadership.

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