As I have grown in my career in various leadership roles, I’ve endured my share of crises. I recall a number of times when I looked calm, cool, and collected on the outside, but didn’t feel quite that way on the inside.
Resilience is crucial to getting through a crisis.
Leaders play a critical role in how their teams and organizations navigate through crises. Times of challenge and crisis call on us to be resilient in order to remain courageous and encourage others through the struggle.
A Leadership Crisis
I’ve worked with organizations across the country to develop servant leaders equipped to steer their teams through all sorts of challenges.
I often see leaders struggling with how to get their organizations through the day-to-day crises they face. They severely lack the skill of resilience.
The stress of all this causes some leaders to believe they have to prove their toughness. They are needlessly hard on their employees. They put on armor, ready for battle, even with the people who are there to support them.
Other leaders are so fearful of making mistakes – often the result of their organizational culture – that they fall victim to the crisis, or settle for the conditions in which they find themselves.
Organizations with these types of leaders can’t survive a crisis. Even as the crisis passes ineffective leadership leads the organization down a road filled with dysfunction, disengaged employees, suffering productivity, and dismal operational performance.
The Call for Resilience
Resilience is a learned skill based on a set of principles and practices developed over time.
Becoming skilled at resilience requires a commitment to learning and developing these principles – even when you are not in a crisis. Your muscle memory must be able to kick in as crises confront you.
Adversity comes in all shapes and forms. Every crisis has unique characteristics and challenges. Leaders who are skilled in the practice of resilient leadership, become resilience ready, better able to adapt to and persevere through the demands they face.