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

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To grow and become our best selves, we must practice self-leadership to elevate our game. This means upgrading how we think, feel, observe, and understand the world around us, even creating new stories that will help us explain what it all means.  No easy task, requiring adaptive responses to challenging times.  All of this is predicated on awareness and choice.  We have a choice of how we build our resilience and we have a choice, after bouncing back, to further our development as effective leaders.  Resilience does not equal great leadership, but it does give us the choice to become great leaders.  So, what will we choose?



[1] Johnson, W. (2019). Disrupt Yourself: Master Relentless Change and Speed Up Your Learning Curve. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press. The S-curve metaphor applied to learning was first developed by Charles Handy in his 1994 book, The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future. London, UK: Hutchinson. Subsequently, McKinsey & Company has extensively used the metaphor in its work. For a recent article, see Brassey, J., Kuo, G., Murphy, L., & van Dam, N. (2019, February 15). Shaping individual development along the S-curve. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/shaping-individual-development-along-the-s-curve , June 12, 2020.

[2] Boyatzis, R., Smith, M., & Van Osten, E. (2019). Helping People Change: Coaching with Resilience for Lifelong Learning and Growth. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

[3] Goldsmith, M. (2007). What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. New York: Hyperion.

[4] Single loop learning refers to the process where performers modify their actions according to the difference between expected and actual outcomes.

[5] Epstein, D. (2019). Range. New York: Riverhead Books.

[6] Ibid.

[7] More broadly, it is possible that the wolf was invited in, shook things up, contributed to building resilience, but overstayed its welcome. The new leader may have recognized that it was time for the wolf to go, but the wolf would not leave on its own accord, it took an agile leader to escort it to the exit and kick it out. In other words, just because the wolf became negative, does not mean that it wasn’t a good decision at the time it was invited in.

[8] Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). The Resilience Factor. New York: Broadway Books.

[9] Meta commenting is commenting on what you are speaking about.  It can provide context and shared understanding of intention for the speaker and listener.


Maribel P. Aleman, Aleman & Associates

Maribel Aleman, MBA, PCC, IOC Fellow draws on 24 years of combined Professional Coaching, Training Design & Facilitation and HR experience to create innovative and strategic solutions that inspire change and drive results. With unwavering integrity, transparency and honest dialogue, Maribel partners with her clients to achieve concrete results through targeted coaching and innovative training. An inspiring change agent, Maribel focuses on helping others define and create their definition of success.


John B. Lazar, John B Lazar & Associates

John B. Lazar, MA, MCC, IOC Fellow. has been a coach and performance improvement consultant since 1983, and a leadership/executive coach to CEOs, executives and senior managers since 1995. Through his customized and configured blended solutions, individual leaders and their teams develop effective leadership and management practices, improve their communications and coordination of actions, develop and align their teams, and produce sustainable, breakthrough results.

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