Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Resilience Does Not Equal Great Leadership: The Three Choices that Will Forge True and Lasting Resilience

Resilience Does Not Equal Great Leadership: The Three Choices that Will Forge True and Lasting Resilience

14 min read
  • How am I showing compassion, forgiveness and accountability? Too often we may feel shame and guilt for not being “resilient” enough or allowing those triggers and our behavioral tendencies to hurt us and others. It is precisely at those moments when it is crucial that we pause and interrupt the ingrained pattern.  In that pause, can we be compassionate and forgiving to ourselves?  If a good friend was in the same situation, would we shame them?  Would we make them feel “less than”?  Hopefully not, so why do that to ourselves?  Yet, activating self-compassion and forgiveness does not mean we give up our accountability.  In fact, the opposite is true.  We are more likely to be able to restore our equilibrium, our center where we can exercise choice.  Recognizing we have derailed, we can own it, call it out, apologize for it and even explore how to repair the damage done to trust and relationships. Our more effective choices offer a proactive and mindful stance essential to building our resilience and self-leadership.

Looking Outward

  • What is my impact? As we learn how to best embody resilience, we are giving shape and life to our best self. That will have a positive impact for you, your team and organization.  The question is this: Do our resilience practices create a positive impact for others? Are we modeling and fostering engagement, collaboration, teamwork, and courage?  What works, not just for us, but for those we intend to lead and inspire?  Analyzing our impact requires curiosity, openness, flexibility and humility in asking for and receiving feedback.  How will others step up to contribute and help us on our journey?  It requires courage to then apply what we have learned and willingness to keep the feedback loop open, healthy, and ever expanding. 


  • Is it time for a new narrative and new practices? As leaders and as humans we seek and create order and structure to help us make sense of the world. David Epstein writes in Range: Chris Argyris, who helped create the Yale School of Management, studied high-powered consultants from top business schools for fifteen years, and saw that they did really well on business school problems that were well defined and quickly assessed.  They employed single loop learning (4), the kind that favors the first familiar solution. Whenever those solutions went wrong, the consultants usually got defensive.  Epstein notes how Argyris found this particularly surprising as the consultants were charged with teaching others how to do things differently, yet they bristled when their usual solutions had to be abandoned for something different. (5)  Sound familiar?   Creating a narrative, a structure, a “hack”, helps us execute and deliver.  However, we can be mindful that this does not become a “learned inflexibility” (6).  We want to capture the opportunity to author a new story that better serves our current individual and collective needs.  The story need not abandon past lessons. In fact, it can be an opportunity to curate different factors and weave them into a more effective, nuanced approach to manage present and future demands.
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