Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Harnessing the power of resilience.

Post 416 - Experience shows that successful people develop the capacity to manage adversity rather than being controlled by it. They've learned to let go of the negative, and find the talents, skills, and strength to function well, whatever their current situation. In their book The Resilient Self, Steven and Sybil Wolin studied psychological resilience and found that triumphing over adversity involved seven key elements - insight, independence, relationships, initiative, creativity, humor and morality. These are outlined below:

- Resilience requires insight. You need to develop the ability to ask tough questions of yourself and be honest with your answers. If you had something to do with your lack of success to date, be honest and responsible for it.

- Resilience is independent. As a resilient person, you can count on yourself to bounce back into life.

- Although resilience is independent, it’s also tied to others. The more people you’re responsible to, the greater your motivation to renew yourself. The stronger the reason, the stronger the action.

- Resilience calls for initiative. You need to develop the ability to take charge of the situation, to take charge of the problem. You need to stand up and do whatever is necessary to get back on course.

- Resilience has an element of creativity. With resilience, you're able to look at a situation and creatively determine the best way out. You're enterprising in your approach toward starting over.

- A resilient person has humor. You may cry until you start laughing, but a sense of humor is so important when turning your life around. You’ve got to take your goals seriously, and you’ve got to take yourself seriously. But you’ve also got to be able to laugh at yourself and your situation at times. If somebody says, “You’ll look back on this and laugh someday,” maybe today is the day to start.

- A resilient person has a strong sense of morality. Whatever you do to get back on your feet, whatever you do to bounce back into life, make sure it’s moral. Make sure that your upcoming success is not at the expense of others. Success, if it is yours to keep, must be at the service of others.

Consultant Ole Carlson, the author of Beneath The Armor, gives the following advice about how to lead a company so it's resilient enough to survive today’s ongoing challenges:

1. Make your personal resiliency unmistakably visible. If your employees see your resilience, they're more likely to pick themselves up after a failure and work towards success. If you moan and whine and stay face down on the mat, it's unlikely that the people who work with you will rise to the challenge.

2. Resilient people don't try to go it alone. If they do, they eventually unravel. Everyone needs a little support to get through difficult times. So work to create a strong support group around you.

3. Be willing to do something different. Part of being resilient is knowing where you messed up, then figuring out what to do differently. You have to be willing to try new things if you want to be successful. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.

4. Throw intelligent and appropriate resources at your obstacles. When faced with company-threatening adversity, there's no reason to hold back. If you do, you may blow any chance you have of overcoming the problems you face.

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