“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” 1.



” More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who will fail”. 2.


Times are hard; you may be facing a second restructure, long-term sickness, increased workload or a disengaged team.


Facing hardship may be considered as negative, but it depends on how you look at it. A certain degree of adversity often helps us build resilience; developing skills to prepare us for other challenges in the future. This is a good thing.


Stressors big and small, help us develop the skills to face other taxing or stressful circumstances in the future. 3.


Every business needs disruption, uncertainty and change to help it grow, learn and succeed. It’s how you deal with challenging periods which will determine the future of your business.


Sorry to be a bearer of bad news but let’s face it “there may be trouble ahead”, that’s ok; understanding how to take positive action is key to improving resilience. 4.


Resilience is built by attitudes, behaviours and social supports that can be adopted and cultivated by anyone. 5.


In a world of constant change, fast pace is the norm, although often difficult to manage. Are you a victim of hurry sickness with a sense of urgency to accomplish more and more in less time? Never has there been a more appropriate time to build your resilience.


The good news is resilience is a set of behaviours and skills you can learn.


As a Leader, you must cultivate your resilience before seeking external solutions so you can turn changes, stressors and challenges into opportunities.


These skills include adaptability, a healthy relationship to control, continual learning, having a sense of purpose and knowing how to leverage support and appropriate resources. 6.


The first challenge is to take honest stock of your strengths and acknowledge your shortfalls. Recognising where you need support is essential to navigate through stormy weather.


Strengthening one’s emotional intelligence is an excellent place to start, but all too often, it is misunderstood. Developing your EI skills will help you to recognise your feelings and the feelings of those around you. Strong EI will give you the tools to adapt, influence and motivate and in turn, will undoubtedly play an essential role in the face of adversity.


EI measured 75-80% leadership success compared to 20-25% for IQ. 7.


Like all unprecedented changes, tensions can run high. If you’re not aware of your behaviour and how you are perceived, you could be harming those around you. Contain your frustrations and remain consistent, show perseverance and push ahead; this will inspire those around you to do the same.


Leaders with strong self-knowledge can stop their misdirected reactions before hurting others. They focus on the things they can control. 8.


Creating strong and reliable connections within your business will help you through difficult times. To do this, you will need to build trust within your business and enable your people to take the initiative and responsibility.


Take the time to create a workforce who are engaged, feel valued and will remain positive when faced with setbacks or change. See setbacks as an opportunity to use the talent within your business to find solutions.


Solutions come from trusting your workforce. Give them the right tools and let them take ownership. However, be realistic with your expectations, don’t expect people within your business to perform if you know deep down that you are setting them up to fail.


Leaders strengthen their own and their team’s resilience when they impose change or face challenges that they are confident they can realistically execute. 9.


Don’t be afraid to push back goals and timelines if realistically you know they can’t be met. Any resilience you may have created will soon be drained if you don’t consider you and your team’s health and wellbeing. Encouraging physical fitness, healthy eating, and time away from work to engage in other activities will help to recharge and refocus.


51% of the employees do not take sufficient breaks to maintain their strength and energy when working. 10.


Just as important is the support your team receives while at work. Reassurance with regular catch-ups and progress meetings will help boost your team’s positivity, continuing to build good workplace relationships.


Remember, if you are enthusiastic and double your efforts to ride the storm, your team will be inspired to do the same. However, if you retreat, subconsciously withdrawing from the challenge at hand, your team will soon lose faith and disengage from the business.


Leaders mindful of their own flagging tenacity dig deeper and redouble their efforts to push ahead, inspiring those around them to do the same. 11.


In a study by PWC in 2014, initiatives and programs that focused on resilience training and mental health education returned $2.30 for every dollar spent, with the return coming from lower health care cost, higher productivity, lower absenteeism and decreased turnover. 12.


Building resilience with your business will prepare you for those times of uncertainty. Invest in specific coaching around emotional intelligence and resilience to help you and your team understand how to respond to change and how to take appropriate steps.



1. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
2. Dean Becker, president and CEO of Adaptiv Learning Systems, How Resilience Works, HBR, 2002.
3. MD Seely & WD Quinton, Understanding Resilience from Negative Life Events to Everyday Stressors, from the
University of Buffalo, 2016.
4. Fred Astaire, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Follow the Fleet, 1936.
5. Rich Fernandez, 5 Ways to Boost Resilience at Work, HBR, 2016.
6. How to Handle Increased Stress, Build your Resilience. Ama and Stephanie Marston, HBR, 2018.
7. Six Seconds, EQ Business, Jan 2014.
8. The Better You Know Yourself, The More Resilience You’ll Be. Ron, Carcucci, HBR, 2017.
9. The Better You Know Yourself, The More Resilience You’ll Be. Ron, Carcucci, HBR, 2017.
10. Building Resilience: Five Key Capabilities, Dan Lucy, Meysam Poorkavoos & Arun Thompson, Roffey Park Institute, 2014.
11. The Better You Know Yourself, The More Resilience You’ll Be. Ron, Carcucci, HBR, 2017.
12. Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace Report, PWC, 2014.