Five Steps to Becoming a Resilient Leader
Uncertain. Unprecedented. Challenging. These are words we now read daily.
“It is astonishing how quickly the current pandemic has tossed out most of our most basic expectations about the world,” Peter Cohan says in Inc.
It’s an emotional roller coaster, but leaders still must provide a productive environment for themselves and others.
Cohan lays out five steps to becoming a resilient leader even in the most uncertain, unprecedented, and challenging times.
Realize It’s OK to Not Feel OK
The first step of resiliency is recognizing the emotions you are feeling. It’s normal to feel confused, lost, or afraid, but you must come to terms with having those feelings before moving on from them.
Share Your Feelings with Your People
Once you recognize those feelings, don’t keep them to yourself.
“To be a resilient leader in such trying times, share your emotions with others whom you trust—such as mentors or other business leaders,” Cohan recommends. “From these conversations, you’ll learn how others in your position are feeling which will help you develop the right words and stories you’ll need to use when you engage with those who expect you to lead.”
Put the Current Situation in Perspective
Even though these are unprecedented times, we can look to history and see how better prepared we are to face the current situation. This type of thinking can activate optimism which can help you focus on solving problems instead of dwelling on challenges.
Solve the Most Important Problems First
There are more than enough things to do in the day, but before you do any of them, you must connect with your team emotionally.
“Your people will not care how you’ll solve all the business problems ahead until they know that you care about them,” Cohan says.
Once you’ve worked through your feelings and connected with your team, you can focus on the business problems that lie ahead.
“Assemble a team of experts, set goals, brainstorm options, formulate strategies, gain consensus around how to implement them; and get results,” Cohan recommends.
Model Resilience in Your Actions and Thoughts
You can’t expect your team to be resilient if you are not acting resilient yourself.
“To sustain the momentum, you must act and think in ways that you want your people to emulate,” Cohan says.
If you have a positive, problem-solving attitude, it’s much easier for those around you to have that same attitude.