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Resilient Leaders & Their Significance Today

Resilient leaders embrace and proactively lead change during normal and turbulent times. They are change catalysts. Their agile mindset and willingness to flow with the change helps them avoid turbulent times and evolve with the situation.



Resilient Leaders


Our environment is uncertain and leaders need to cultivate an attitude to understand and adjust to uncertainty. They must cultivate such a mindset and explore accordingly so that their organisations can not only sustain but also survive.


A key difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders is resilience. Unlike unsuccessful leaders who are haunted by past failures and fearful to explore new ideas and options, successful leaders are able to bounce back from adversities, disappointments and failures and achieve success.


Resilient leaders don't sulk and blame their circumstances. They take responsibility and proactively invest their effort, time and resources to positively influence situations and outcomes to meet their goals. They are often part of the solutions as they openly explore ideas and options to overcome their challenges.


I vividly remember back in early 2020 when the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic, many leaders I know were resilient in facing the challenges caused by it. Lockdowns, WFH, disrupted supply chains etc had created many problems for business owners, professionals, employees etc. Company leaders were resilient in taking on the challenges and changes, and adapted with the times by adopting new ideas. Some unfortunately succumbed to the situation (mostly due to negative cashflow) but they had fought hard and remained resilient throughout the ordeal and until the very end. Those who succeeded in weathering the storm were not only resilient but also had the guts and vision to handle the crisis.


Resilient leaders not only embrace change but also proactively lead change during normal and turbulent times. They are change catalysts. Their agile mindset and willingness to flow with the change helps them avoid turbulent times and evolve with the situation. When we look at leaders who led change successfully through organisational adaptability, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric comes to mind. He was ahead of his time and well respected by what he stood for, believed in and achieved through clever implementation of brilliant strategies.


Resilient leaders are constantly aware of external disturbances, both potential and actual. They persist in their efforts throughout their convictions by managing external disturbances. They are opportunists who are able to convert threats into opportunities. They take full responsibility for their actions and raise the hopes of others by leading fearlessly.

How Do Leaders Develop Resilience?


How do leaders develop resilience? Firstly, they will need to equip themselves with the theoretical knowledge, which will offer some ideas and insights on resilience. However, nothing can replace actual experience, which will provide practical knowledge on how to be resilient. Every leader is different and hence how resilient a leader is when faced with challenges and uncertainties is unique to the leader.


How Do Resilient Leaders Involve The Rest?


In order to embrace and lead change effectively, leaders need to start with the right vision. Articulate this vision clearly and effectively with the senior management team so that the tone and expectation is set. They in turn will cascade this vision to their respective divisions and departments. When done systematically, this will help to initiate and facilitate change throughout the entire organisation. Thereafter, it is crucial to rollout frequent communication to and with all stakeholders to update them of the progress, achievement etc. People dislike surprises so communication is absolutely key to secure buy-in from all stakeholders.


Conclusion


To conclude, organisational survival and success in uncertain times is dependent on resilient leaders who are able to build resilient organisations. Without resilient leaders leading the way, the probability will be lower for organisational survival and success.


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