[July 17, 2020] All leaders inevitably face obstacles. What we need to keep in mind is that overworking and overloading ourselves is going to do more harm than good and eventually cause burnout.
Despite the initial peak in terms of productivity due to overworking, a leader’s efficiency will eventually decline. Therefore, it is important to understand that building resilience is vital for a leader to bounce back from setbacks and unwanted obstacles.
Resilience is simply the ability to recover from adversity or trauma that life throws at us. Resilient leaders maintain their energy levels under pressure. They are able to overcome difficulties without engaging in any dysfunctional or unfruitful behavior.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you, as a leader, towards building resilience.
Having a positive mindset
Leaders need to establish a positive mindset. Navigating through circumstances is next to impossible, otherwise. We should consciously choose to strengthen certain patterns of thoughts so as to not feel defeated under any circumstance.
Research suggests that those who viewed their higher levels of stress as abnormal/harmful were at high risk of dying. Those who were able to identify, manage, and control their stress into performing better did not show behavioral risks, similar to those who did not have any stress.
Building resilience entails staying in touch with your whole self. At workplaces, it’s common to see those at a higher level lose touch with their heart. They tend to lose empathy towards those surrounding them, which can lead to detrimental after-effects.
To encourage your team to perform better, you need to actively and genuinely engage with them. You can only be a successful leader if you know those who you are leading, what they desire, their concerns, their abilities and flaws.
Coping with stress is crucial to building resilience. The adrenaline rush we experience, the pounding heartbeat, and a jolt of energy are meant for us to act upon a situation.
Leaders certainly experience a spike of urgency when their project is at stake – this allows them to act quickly. Leaders that are able to clear mind-blocks that stress may have caused are able to think more clearly. Stress can help unite the members of a team to work in synchrony towards the alleviation of any problem.
Nelson Mandela emerged immensely self-reliant after being imprisoned for 27 years. He took inspiration from W.E. Henley, who wrote “I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul”.
It is crucial to remember that to lead others, one must learn how to lead oneself. Self-leadership provides a sense of reliability to those being led. Additionally, leaders then learn how to cope with any challenges independent of the presence of their co-workers.
Last, but most definitely not the least, leaders must remember that we have been gifted this life to thrive, not survive. What good is it if we miss out on the joys of life and instead keep narrow-mindedly focusing on achieving results?
One must know how to achieve an accurate balance between personal and professional roles to ultimately, wholly experience “la joie de vivre”.