Leaders who are resilient have some unique traits. They view failures as minor setbacks from which they can easily recover. Despite the difficulties, they maintain a positive outlook and a strong sense of opportunity and when faced with ambiguity in a VUCA environment, they find ways to move ahead and avoid getting stuck with baggage.
Many studies have highlighted the significance of resilience as an individual and organizational leadership characteristic. when comparing the leadership effectiveness of the most resilient leaders to the least resilient leaders, the bar graph for the most resilient leaders showed a significant spike with an approximately 75% differential.
Here are seven ways effective leaders demonstrate resilience.
1. Communicate powerfully: Some people prefer to act individually, without telling others what they plan to do or trying to do. The most resilient leaders are effective at proactively communicating their intentions to others. They are willing to help others comprehend a new strategy or understand a new direction. This strong and effective communication of theirs helps others understand upcoming changes, expectations and new directions thereby subsequently managing it.
2. Open and Receptive: A resilient leader is open and receptive. Resilient leaders are humble, open to feedback, and often seek feedback from others and are also keen to learn. After receiving feedback, they also demonstrate a real zeal and sustained effort to improve their skills and abilities in the gap areas. Leaders who are open and receptive develop self-awareness. All of these traits make them coachable, which increases their productivity and leadership effectiveness.
3. Invest in lasting relationships: Great leaders bring people together. Resilient leadership happens when leaders bring others along. Resilient Leaders are able to establish trust, accept differences, and build strong connections with all stakeholders to create successful teams. This becomes a differentiating factor in ensuring effectiveness because while an individual may be willing to make a significant change, it requires strong positive relationships to get other stakeholders to support any change.
4. Take bold risks: Resilient leaders are open to new ideas and taking chances. In the context of a VUCA business environment, resilient leaders are not afraid to take bold risks and usher in bold changes.
5. Develop others: Most resilient leaders care about others’ growth as much as their own. They not only own their own development but that of others also. Developing others lets everyone learn from mistakes and take corrective actions. Leaders who seek honest feedback from others are more likely to give constructive feedback to others and act their coach.
6. Champion change: Disruptive change is a business reality today. Resilient leaders are amenable to change and demonstrate willingness to change. They are able to provide the requisite leadership to ensure that the organization also adapts to the change happening in the environment. To provide this kind of leadership, one needs clarity of vision and courage to steer the entire organization towards change.
7. Firmly decisive: Decision making is a complex paradox. It’s because no one has all the data, or understands all the data, or understands all possible eventualities. However, organizations cannot progress until a decision is taken. The most resilient leaders are good at making decisions and adhering to them. They do not suffer from decision paralysis. And, in case they realize they have made a wrong decision, they are quick to make a different decision and move in another direction.
Resilience is a critical characteristic of high-performing leaders who are out there to create a tangible business impact and leave a legacy behind. In order to grow and thrive in a VUCAD environment, all leaders must cultivate resilience.
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