Resilience is not about adversity but about this

“Resilience” keeps popping up in the articles I am reading these days. Personal resilience. Organizational resilience. Operational resilience. It’s poignant considering COVID-19 and how our normal lives and businesses have been upended so quickly.

The term’s connotation, though, deserves a reboot. We think of resilience as informing our response to adversity. The typical life flow seems to be that we are doing great, then something bad happens, then we recover. Resilience’s current placement is in-between “something bad happens” and “then we recover.” We are resilient becomes a rallying cry.

Resilience is actually be part of the “we are doing great” stage because resilience isn’t only reserved for adversity. Meaning, resilience is required during down times but it is also required during up times. We need to be resilient when we have too many customers and not enough staff. We need to be resilient when our cash flow is stretched due to unusual product demand.

The term is more aligned with agility. Resilience isn’t about adversity, it’s about agility. Our ability to effectively navigate the landscape of life whether up or down.

When we think about it differently, its power changes.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on April 1, 2020

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