Success in business and in life comes to those who can sustain energy, creativity and passion in the midst of continual change, stress and competition. Information overload leaves us struggling to sustain that passion and drive and achieve the work/life balance that is essential to our growth and well-being. We are being bombarded with information every day and are PRA Operational Resilience working in different environments that require more accountability and have higher expectations than 10 years ago.
Individual and organizational resilience is needed now more than ever. Webster's Dictionary defines resilience as the ability to recover from misfortune or change. Mike Jay, author of CPR for the Soul and Founder of Leadership University defines it as "the integrated power to persist when things don't work out at first; to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty; to transcend common problems and barriers and to anticipate the future in a sustainable way."
According to Albert Bandura, individuals are instilled with certain capabilities that define what it is like to be human. Among those capabilities are: the ability to learn from our mistakes, plan for the future, reflect on ourselves and situations and manage our emotions. These capabilities provide us with the tools to control our own future and remain resilient in changing times. Developing these capabilities is the key to increasing our resilience. They are what make us human. We are the only species that is capable of planning, reflecting and managing our emotions. So the elements that make us unique are the same elements that can make us resilient in challenging times.
Resilience matters more than training, education and experience and will ultimately determine who succeeds and who fails.
There are many elements of resilience, but these are the ones I find most important:
1. Accept things as they are not as you hope or wish they would be. It is easy to slip into denial as a way of coping with challenging times, but the only real way to prepare ourselves and our organizations for these challenges is to face reality. It is when we deny things that we perpetuate the hardship and stop any growth and renewal from occurring. With each day and month the cost of denial goes up. To be truly resilient, an individual and an organization must avoid wishful thinking and stop living in the past. They must be willing to face reality head on. Resilience means having the capacity to change before change becomes necessary. This is planning for our futures rather than being victims of our reality.
2. Know what's important and navigate around that. When there is a lack of clarity around what is most important, our actions and behaviors are undirected and resilience is stalled. Strong values serve as maps to guide our behaviors and actions. At times of crisis and hardships it is this clarity that allows us to navigate through the fog. If we are lost with no map and no signs to guide us, it makes the recovery much longer. Successful individuals and organizations have strong values that direct their behavior at times of crisis.
3. Know Thy Self. Self Knowledge is critical for resilience. If we are clear about our strengths and weaknesses, we are better able to leverage our strengths and manage our weaknesses. When we spend much of our time operating out of our weaknesses, more effort is expended and results are dispersed. Directing our actions around our strengths allows us to be more efficient PRA Operational Resilience and effective in freeing up creative energy. Problems and challenges will not be transcended if we become victims of our blind spots and minimize our talents and creativity
4. Accept and make meaning out of what life hands us. The core of resilience is the ability to bounce back from hardships. If we complain and whine about the challenges that are upon us, we are unable to adequately reflect and learn from the difficulties. Resilient people and organizations are able to see a potential opportunity hidden beneath the adversity. They build bridges with reflections from their past to the ingenuity of today and finally to a fuller future
The resilient people of today and tomorrow are the ones who can face reality head on, knowing what's important in the moment, leveraging their strengths and making meaning out of hardships. We create the future through our response to the challenges of today.