This is the final post in our current blog series on the core leadership competencies needed to navigate an environment of constant change. So far, we’ve looked at what it means to demonstrate Interpersonal Savvy, Organizational Agility, Dealing with Ambiguity, and Managing Complexity. And today, we’ll conclude with a look at “Resiliency” -- appropriately so, given the change we are collectively navigating across our world.
When we began this series back in March, it was just days after International Women’s Day and during the first moments when the reality of the current Covid-19 crisis was becoming clear. And here we are today, globally still navigating change -- one where the power and strength of resiliency has become abundantly clear. Whether we’ve seen this through the visible and heroic demonstrations by essential workers on the front lines of the crisis in healthcare, public safety, education and food services -- or a version that is less visible because it’s happening inside each of our homes as we adjust and navigate work, family, connection, and our physical & mental well-being while in quarantine. Resilience is most certainly essential.
Resilience is defined in the dictionary as “the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed.”
It can be helpful to think of it like a rubber band -- the physical shape and flexibility to adapt and adjust. Often though it’s not the physical attributes that define it, but the less than tangible ones. Through the lens of work and business, it often means to:
- model a “can do” attitude
- be driven by purpose and commitment to results
- withstand and bounce back from adversity
- pick ourselves up when we fall or get knocked down
- demonstrate self-awareness, mindfulness and self-care
- look at mistakes or failures as opportunities to grow
- to maintain and grow healthy relationships
- to rise above
It’s for these reasons that some of the most notable quotes from female leaders are about resilience:
- “To fight for change tomorrow, we need to build resilience today.” (Sheryl Sandberg)
- “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” (Margaret Thatcher)
- “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” (Maya Angelou)
- “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” (Helen Keller)
- "We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes -- understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success." (Arianna Huffington)
And it’s why, as we wrap-up this series on the Leadership Competencies needed to navigate an environment of constant change, we at Leading Women team wish to leave you with the resounding and resilient definition of leadership that has grounded our work for 15+ years.
“Leadership is using the greatness in you,
to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes
by engaging the greatness in others.”
-Susan L. Colantuono, Founder Leading Women