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Characteristics of a Resilient Leader

a resilient leader

With books like Brene Brown's Rising Strong and Angela Duckworth's Grit on the best seller lists, it's obvious that we realize now more than ever how important positive persistence is. It's especially crucial for leaders to develop their resilience and model it in their workplace. Running a business and managing a team of people is never without setbacks, and how you handle those setbacks will determine how successful your business is and how you're seen as a leader.

But resilience isn't just about the ability to bounce back after experiencing a loss or failure. Resent research from YSC Consulting indicates that resilience is so much more than just having the grit to buckle down and get through it, and then spring back -- resiliency is a buildable and learnable skill, and that leaders who develop strong resiliency habits weather change and disruption much more adeptly and build stronger teams.

So are you a resilient leader? Here are some of the traits of resiliency in the workplace.

Resilient Leaders Are Compassionate

When you've been through tough times, it's much easier to extend compassion to your employees who are also experiencing difficulties. Resilient leaders know how to keep their team going when the road gets difficult, but they also know when to offer a kind word, suggest a break, or initiate a heart-to-heart conversation.

Resilient Leaders Are Respected

If you've ever worked for someone who was able to stay positive, motivated, and caring when their business was struggling, you know how much respect this gains from employees. Though employees may like a leader who is at the top of her game when experiencing success, they will not truly respect that leader until they see what she's made of when the chips are down.

Resilient Leaders Know They Can't Do It Alone

Every leader who has been through a crisis knows that the only way to get through it is to look to others for help. Sure, you might be able to run a business almost single-handedly when everything is going smoothly, but you'll have to rely on those around you when you hit roadblocks. Realizing that no leader is an island is an important part of their development process and is vital to the reduction of their ego. Working on developing your support network during times of relative ease can help you when you need to rely on them later in times of stress.

Resilient Leaders See the Lesson in Every Setback

If you've ever read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, you know that how you view setbacks determines whether you have a fixed or growth mindset. Resilient leaders are solidly in the growth mindset camp and realize that every mistake or mishap is a chance to learn, improve, and do better the next time.

Resiliency begins with your habits and your outlook. In next week's article we will cover some steps you can take to ensure you are building up your own levels of resilience, and also how to foster resiliency within your teams!

Trish Cody is an Executive Awareness Coach and Speaker who focuses on optimizing results for business leaders. With over 20 years of experience as a strategic consultant for some of the world's top Fortune 500 companies, Trish Cody has coached and consulted with senior level teams in planning, designing, launching, and measuring the return for major initiatives. As a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Practitioner, Trish works with senior level leaders and business owners to raise their levels of self-awareness and create more trust, loyalty, and success in their businesses and teams. Contact Trish at

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