Resilient Leadership: Your Key to Brilliance

February 09, 2022 | 1065 Views

Resilient Leadership: Your Key to Brilliance

Josh Davies

CEO | The Center for Work Ethic Development

“Resilient leadership – the journey each person takes to better see, communicate, and adapt.” – Josh Davies

There are many, many places to read and learn about leadership. As my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, said, “Readers are leaders.” Problem is, most of the tens of thousands of leadership books out there are telling you how to be someone else. Resilient leadership is about YOU. It is about becoming the best leader you can be by setting yourself up to adapt to change.

7 Steps to Ensure Your Future as a Leader

1. Raise Your Expectations

It starts with you, and embracing your ability to lead. Don’t let other people define who you are and what you can accomplish. We often say to ourselves, “Oh, I’m just in training.” Or, “Oh, I just started at my company.” I like to use QuickTrip out of Tulsa, Oklahoma as an example of just a convenience store that raised all expectations of what that means, and created an “experience” for their customers and their employees. By doing so, they have crushed their competition in profitability, and have appeared on Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For more than anyone else.

2. Get Real

On the flip side, figure out where you really stand. We are terrible judges of our abilities because we judge ourselves based on our intentions. Others judge us on our actions. The best way to accomplish this is to get candid feedback about your skills. While we like to hear how awesome we are, we need to seek out what’s real to others. Put into practice consistently asking others “What is one thing I could do or change that would make me better?” Even if it hurts a little bit.

3. Monotask

Likewise, we think we are good at multitasking, but it is not true. Study after study has proven this as fact. When we multitask, our rate of errors increases, it takes us more time to complete a task, and it actually makes our IQ drop! Our brains are not wired to multitask. Like a train switching tracks, you slow down each time. If you want to be as adaptable as possible…focus. Do one thing at a time, and do it really well. Carve out dedicated time each day to complete your most important tasks. Minimize the email screen (gasp!).

4. Embrace Failure

We think the opposite of success is failure, but that is not true. Often, failure is the precursor to success. Practice embracing what went wrong and learning from it. Figure out how to take a step back and make it a step up. Take a look at some examples, such as how velcro and post-it notes were invented. Don’t let setbacks cause you to lose enthusiasm on your journey.

5. Reduce Rationalizations

Oh boy are we all good at rationalizing. Why don’t we drive 55? I’ve got my WAYZ app on so I know where the cops are…It’s a flat road so I can see everything…I’m going less than 10 miles over…I have to drive with traffic. Whatever we tell ourselves, the law says 55 and yet *no one* goes the limit because we justify it to ourselves. Rationalizations create grey zones that make our actions okay to us. The more we rationalize, the bigger the grey zone gets. If we want to be a more resilient leader, we have to reduce the grey zone and spend less time rationalizing. People need to know where you are coming from and that they can trust what you say.

6. Trade Screens for Faces

This is not a new idea, but a good reminder. Our electronic communications have exploded to the point where we are fatigued and overwhelmed. We no longer can take a day off of email. In a high-tech world, high touch wins the day. Through in-person communication, we can minimize the misinterpreting of the tone and make sure our non-verbal messaging is correctly received. The more we interact with other people, the more resilient we become because it makes us more effective. Give someone a call and build agile relationships that last.

7. Focus on What Matters

Resilient leaders realize that what they pay attention to gets done and creates high-impact results. If you want to be a resilient leader right now, focus on PEOPLE. Every leader I know who kills it on the number focuses on people, and the numbers take care of themselves.

“Resilient leadership – the journey each person takes to better see, communicate, and adapt.” – Josh Davies

The most important word in the quote above is “journey.” Our journey to become a resilient leader is never over. We practice, yet never reach perfection. We have setbacks along the way, but resilient leaders embrace the ups and the downs. Resilient leaders learn when they are low, and celebrate when they are high. I hope these steps help you embrace the experiences that allow you to better see, communicate, and adapt.

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Comments (1)

  1. Joe Talarico:
    Feb 10, 2022 at 03:38 PM

    Great read Josh! Love your message on the correct focus - focus on the formation of your people and you will gain long term loyalty and financial success for your business. And...totally agree with #5 - Reducing Rationalizations. It is an unfortunate aspect of our lives - we need to reduce our rationalizations so that they do not become habits!
    Take care.