Resilient leaders are often those that make for a great leadership story. Likely because, in most cultures, resilience and leadership go hand in hand. Indeed, we appreciate resilience at all levels of leadership. It’s a positive, inspiring aspect of human personality. Struggling towards something, against all odds. Yet, some leaders are more resilient than others.
And this makes us wonder about what it is that makes people resilient. Could it be personal structure, or a consequence of growth and nurture? And if there’s a way to cultivate resilience, what are the right steps? This is what we endeavor to explore. Let us figure out how to spot resilient leaders and understand them.
Why focus on resilient leaders
Resilient leaders are people that can inspire entire teams to become resilient. They see any obstacle as a learning opportunity for themselves. And they share that learning opportunity with the team. That’s because they know how important team resilience is. And that every team member should be more resilient.
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Both fiction and non-fiction praise resilience as a quintessential trait for leaders. Historically, we’ve admired the tenacity of warriors. Similarly, the endurance of hunters. And even the patience and calmness of the wise. Resilience makes the difference. Winners triumph because of resilience.
In fact, when it comes to human behavior, resilience is much admired. Especially because it’s tough to attain. Simultaneously, it is very much valued because it makes the difference between success and failure. But the highest value of resilience is motivational. It inspires others to become resilient themselves. As simple as that.
Besides, as a personality trait, resilience bands together with a few others. Resilient leaders are people that think on their feet. They can take decisions independently, spontaneously even. And by spontaneous, we do not mean impulsive. It’s almost as if there’s a set goal, and resilience takes a person from A to B. In spite of anything in the way.
Moreover, people can learn to become resilient leaders. From discovering naturals hidden in plain sight to cultivating them. Obviously, since it’s something a whole team can learn.
What makes a resilient leader
We’re set on the fact that resilience is important and useful. And we have heard a lot about resilient leaders. It therefore makes sense to know how to spot them. Here are 5 ways to spot one, in a team or even while recruiting.
Resilient leaders take calculated risks
You put in all the work and your efforts fail. Worse even, you feel stuck and you need a better way of doing things. However, you can’t see it yet, because things already happened. You’re now behind schedule. Instead of pre-emptive striking, you have to do damage control. If only you had the foresight.
Moving forward with resilience means being both bold and calculate. Resilience is, at its core, experience with pushing through. This means that resilient leaders can estimate a challenge. They can prepare for the worst and hope for the better.
Resilient leaders are not risk-seeking. Instead, they are experienced risk-takers that know how to tackle risks. And also what to do when things fail.
Resilient leaders are great communicators
One huge issue about communication is when it misfires. In any work context, good communication is essential. Being clear and forward in the way you communicate can be particularly tough.
Mostly because people fail to listen. But also because they expect to hear things a certain way. Resilient leaders have a specific communication style. They make sure everyone understands what they mean. And they let everyone know of their intentions.
Don’t imagine that great communicators have to be excellent public speakers. In fact, a lot of introverts are impeccable communicators. Surprisingly, without even being comfortable public speakers. This is to say that great communicators are merely people that make themselves understood at a minimal cost. In effect, they take the least time and energy to make themselves understood.
Resilient leaders are mentors, trainers or teachers
Being able to push through any obstacles means being ready. And when it comes to team efforts, it means that the entire team must be ready.
Resilient leaders take it upon themselves to make the team ready. They are continuously focused on developing others. Hence, resilient leaders know how to listen. And they know how to mentor.
The right leader for any team is one that moves with the team. One that keeps the team in line. This is why team resilience follows from leadership mentoring and training. And it is how you notice a resilient leader.
Resilient leaders are always willing to learn
One thing everybody finds hard to accept is feedback. Sure, most people find it easy to listen to feedback. But to actually go ahead and integrate it? That’s rare.
Resilient leaders are interested in feedback. Almost as if they have a special notebook for self-improvement. There, they write what they can do better. Because being resilient is not just being stubborn. It’s being prepared. Ready to deal with anything.
That’s the difference. You can spot one right away. They are always ready to learn. Willing to prepare themselves for any eventuality. They have an applied perspective. And knowing what others have to say is part of it. It makes the difference.
Resilient leaders are proactive and adaptable
Resilient leaders act decisively. With limited information, they are capable to make the best possible call. Why? Because they will be able to deal with the consequences. Given the data, they can make the best possible choice as often as needed. To do so, they embrace change.
But resilient leaders are not merely reactive. They do not only react to situations. Instead, they are proactive. How? With preventive goal-setting and team development.
By setting goals, they can motivate the entire team. This happens on two levels. The first, by personal example. Goal contagion is a great way to motivate and inspire. Secondly, goal setting builds a self-motivating culture. It allows for self-starters to self-motivate. And it makes everyone step up for the challenge.
Overall, building resilient teams stems from having resilient leaders in place. They may well be a team member, or even a new hire. And seeking resilient candidates is particularly useful. After all, resiliency is of great value to any sort of endeavor. Be it team or individual efforts.
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