Ariel Intermission: Never Mind the Economy. How Are You Recovering?
Life is full of challenges. And each is an opportunity to let go of old ways of thinking and stretch toward new solutions. From my experience with organizations I’ve observed that successful leaders harness the power of adversity much like sailors harness the power of the wind.
In our workshops, we ask participants to help us generate a list of the skills of the actor. The list often includes the following:
-Letting go of mistakes / Dealing with nerves
-Recovering gracefully and moving on
-Improvising / Thinking on one’s feet
-Empathy / Understanding another person’s point of view
-The ability to read an audience
We then ask participants which of these skills are also leadership skills. Inevitably the answer is “All of them!”
Lately, however, when I ask, “Which of these skills are also the skills of the leader?” there has been a focus on recovering gracefully. People are wondering: as the economy recovers how does a leader recover gracefully too?
For the past two years many leaders and companies have been in a reactive mode. They’ve been dealing with adversity. They’ve had to put out financial fires and make hard decisions about what costs to cut. This has been stressful and taxing on everyone; staff and leaders alike.
After some pondering, I thought of another core quality that actors have and leaders need in order to recover from all this stress: the ability to be resilient.
Life is full of challenges. And each is an opportunity to let go of old ways of thinking and stretch toward new solutions. From my experience with organizations I’ve observed that successful leaders harness the power of adversity much like sailors harness the power of the wind. How a company and its leaders respond to hard times may be a better predictor of their strength than market penetration.
What Are Your Resilient Qualities?
How do you harness the power of adversity and recover gracefully? To get you thinking, try answering these two questions.
- What is the one quality you like the most about yourself when faced with a challenging or adverse situation? Perhaps you are adaptable. Or loyal. Or you are dogged and see things through to the bitter end. Whatever your quality is, it’s core to who you are.
- When in your life did you first discover or develop this quality? The answer to this second question will likely reveal that you already know how to recover well.
We suggest that you share the answers to these questions with your teams and listen carefully to their answers too. The more people who are resilient work together, the quicker they can recover with grace.
Is your team struggling in the wake of change? Read our blog for how you can help them manage change.