According to Harvard Business Review, a survey conducted by a consulting firm confirms the importance of resilience to business success.
The study also identified the top five biggest drains on resilience:
Managing difficult relationships/politics in the workplace
Volume or pace at work stretching their limits
Being criticized personally
When nature of the work takes them outside of their comfort zone
When there are unheavals in their personal life
RESILIENCE AND YOUR HUMAN WIRING
If you look at the biggest drains on resilience, every single one of them can be tied back to creating awareness of human wiring. Human wiring is present at birth and stays with you your entire lifetime. Your wiring determines how you create ideas, process thought, the environment in which you best thrive, and the amount of certainty you need for effective decision making.
To illustrate the relationship to these drains on resilience and human wiring, let’s take the number one biggest drain: Managing difficult relationships. Consider that a difficult relationship is often related to how someone’s communication occurs to you. When you understand why people do what they do, it can shift how their communication occurs to you.
When training a senior leadership team, I used an example that hit close to home. I brought up a common organizational issue: complaints from accounting personnel that they often don’t receive complete or timely expense reports from the sales personnel. The sales personnel complain that they are trying to get sales and expense reports are a low priority for them. Dig a little deeper and many sales people loath having to complete every box on an expense report. Further, they complain at the time-consuming expense reporting process.
When I shared this example, the sales leader shot a look at the CEO, as if the CEO shared this complaint with me. He didn’t share it with me, it’s a common complaint inside organizations and the nature of the work in completing an expense report is opposite of some of the sales team wiring.
Some sales positions attract people who like freedom from routine. You can see how sales might procrastinate in actually writing out their expenses reports because of the nature of the work: routine and detail oriented, which may be opposite of how they are biologically hardwired.
To the accounting department personnel, it occurs that the sales department is being difficult because they are not on time and don’t submit accurate and detailed reports. To sales, the accounting department is being difficult requiring time-consuming reports.
When understanding how to work with each team’s wiring, you can develop solutions where everyone wins. Understanding why people do what they do, you can get to the heart of an issue.
RESILIENCE: YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO FAILURE
Another element to being a resilient leader is identifying your relationship to failure. Your relationship to failure can and does shape the way you and your team perform.
There are a number of ways that leaders avoid failure, like not setting goals because you don’t want fail in achieving them. Similarly, they set vague goals because they don’t want to be seen as a bad leader.
What might be possible if you could look at failure as just a failure in performance not that you’re bad person or wrong? What if you interpret failure as a learning experience?
Creating a healthy relationship with failure doesn’t mean the failure doesn’t sting. Failures reveal new layers of leadership. Failure enables success. With each failure, it’s a new stepping stone to a higher quality of leading.
When a mentoring client set a really large goal and it looked like his team wasn’t going to accomplish the goal, I encouraged him not to reset the goal but to play for it. While they didn’t reach the goal, the value came in what he learned by it. He leveled up his leadership skills, by managing team disappointment, coaching them to overcome to overcome their fears, and identify what was missing so they achieve their goal the next time. He also learned the most valuable lesson of all: Resilience.