Why is Resilience a Leader’s Superpower?

Hi meaningful leader,

Happy Tuesday! Hope you had a productive week and a fun and restful weekend!

As last week’s topic was the two mindset approaches towards conquering the fear of failure, Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset, I wanted for us to deep dive this week on the importance of resilience as a skill for leaders.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back up after a setback or a loss. As we all know, challenges and difficulties are an engrained part of being humans. However, what differentiates successful people from the rest is the ability to approach said problems with an open perspective and with hope.

One of the most important qualities found among resilience people, is the clarity to understand that these things happen to everyone, that suffering, loss, and tragedy, are part of life. They don’t particularly welcome the hardship in with open arms, but when it comes (and it will come), they accept it and don’t feel singled out and targeted by it. Successful people understand that what happens to us represents only 20% of the equation, and how we react to it, represents the other 80%.

They know that any setback offers two choices, whether to sink or to swim and they always choose the latter. Yet, society promotes this false idea that life should be social-media-picture-perfect and our youth is growing up in entitlement and fragility and we are doing them a disservice.

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Nelson Mandela

Another characteristic of resilient people is that they don’t rescind the control of their circumstances to bad luck, but instead hang on to hope. They focus on what they can control and on the positive side of the situation. This doesn’t mean that they are in denial and decide to ignore the negative aspect of their current circumstances, but they don’t allow it to overpower them and cloud their thought process and judgement.

Psychology has a name for this skill, it is called Benefit Finding. The Berkley Well-Being Institute describes it as the ability to involve “thinking through and mentally listing all the positive things associated with a situation. For example, let’s say I lose my job. Although there may be negatives associated with this, there are also likely to be positives. I may have not really liked my boss or maybe now I can finally pursue another interest that I have been wanting to pursue”

As leaders, resilience plays a huge role in our ability to navigate change and critical situation, while keeping the team safe, focused and performing; which for all of us was a huge challenge throughout the pandemic. Resilient leaders are masters of change management. In the words of Valerie Burton, Personal and Executive Coach, “They have a level of psychological capital and mental toughness that’s enables better performance and leadership under stress.”

Resilience allows us to think critically during difficult times while keeping a positive perspective because we trust in our knowledge and experience, and we trust in our team. Difficult situations will happen, problems will arise, mistakes will be made, yet how we react and how we respond and rebuild can set us apart from the rest.

I would like to invite to be mindful and intentional about developing your resilience, and next time you are confronted by a challenge, put these ideas into practice and assess the outcome. If you have any other ideas on this critical topic, please share them in the comments, let’s continue to build each other up.

Have an awesome week and God bless!




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