How Resilient Do You Think You Are?

hillary-clintonWith the 2016 US Presidential elections now completed, my thoughts turned to Hilary Clinton. What will she do next? How will she recover from this very public crushing blow delivered at the potential apex of her career?

As a business owner, imagine building your business for 8 long years of sacrifice, of hard, often heart-felt decision making, of lack of stability; only to have it all snatched away from under your fingertips when you were about to sign the life-changing deal of which you’d always dreamed.

Or as an associate in a professional services firm, your ultimate career ambition for most in private practice is to become partner. Picture that, after your 8 long years of slog, the promised promotion is pulled away at the final moment.

How do you recover?

It’s well documented and self-evident that a good deal of resilience is needed to be a successful executive. So, what is resilience?

The word means “springing back”, from the Latin resilientem meaning “inclined to leap or spring back”. I like this definition as it focuses on the dynamic nature of the quality; rather than just getting through tough times, resilience is about leaping back, absorbing the difficulties then learning and improving from them.

Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience difficulty or distress. It is not a trait that people either have or do not have. Resilience involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

Whilst being resilient may sound great and an exciting possibility, how do we actually bridge the gap to getting there? In my work I have identified a few key components of a resilient attitude and I encourage coachees to remember these and develop them as skills until they become second nature. These components are:

  • Positivity
  • Confidence
  • Emotional control
  • Solutions-focused orientation
  • Flexibility
  • Persistence
  • Sense of purpose
  • Sense of well-being and balance
  • Support networks
  • Reflection and perspective
  • Acceptance

In the last 15 years of my career as a leadership coach I have been working in the corporateresilience-lighthouse-photo sphere coaching leaders to find their own voice, to show up with confidence and sustain resilience through adversity. The speed of change and level of uncertainty in organisations is making life more complex. This complexity demands a personal resilience that enables executives to remain focused and productive.

Do you think Hilary Clinton will have the ability to bounce back? These next few weeks will be a time in which to observe whether she has the resilience to come back, adapt, be strengthened, and enhanced.


©Lumina Coaching Ltd