Do you remember when you landed your first real job? Maybe it was your first job out of college with your freshly minted college degree. Maybe it was that first job out of high school that you developed into an incredible career without ever needing or wanting to go to college. Maybe, just maybe, it was the military that called your heart into action and into a life filled with mission, meaning and purpose.
Through all of these “first job” experiences most people learn the ropes and move up the ranks. Some of us stayed in leadership positions with various companies and others of us decided somewhere along the journey to take the risk of running our own companies. No matter what path and no matter how hard you plan, execute and care- something will inevitably not go as planned. This could be a small thing- say a tire on one of the fleet vehicles goes flat and your service person is late to an appointment and you have to do a little damage control. It could also be huge-something that goes wrong or something that occurs that changes life dramatically. We have all seen (or been in the situation ourselves) where we see leaders that stress and some that handle even the worst things with aplomb. What is the trait that separates these kinds of actions?
Many people are unclear what resiliency means. It doesn’t mean something bad won’t happen (the correct turn for that is resistant) it means that no matter what, you bounce back. The word resilience derives from the present participle of the Latin verb resilire, meaning “to jump back” or “to recoil.” Resiliency here in the US business environment is about bouncing back to the attitude and processes that you should be doing no matter what hurdle is thrown your way.
Many years ago, I was lamenting something that had happened in my personal life. My friend said “Instead of framing it like what happened TO you, think instead of it happening FOR you”. Hardships, setbacks, failures, things not going right are part of business and life in general. It is not in easy days that leaders are found- it is only in adversity.
Businesses that have owners, leaders, staff that adapt well to adversity, are the strongest. In today’s world, the adage of “doing business like we always have done it” is simply impossible. Without adapting, your business will wither and die. The audience behavior is different. Technology is constantly evolving. These obstacles and challenges that we often frown at should instead be looked at gratefully since they are often catalyst to personal and business growth. Resiliency is the key to growth, personal happiness and business success.
3 Ways to Build Resiliency
1) Set Goals
Reminding you and your team often about why something is done is of critical importance. When something doesn’t go as planned a leader needs to re-orient the team on the why. This is your mission statement, your vision, your goals.
2) Plan the Work, Work the Plan
An honest criticism of what went wrong and how it could have been mitigated/prevented. Use every misstep, failure, roadblock as a way to improve. Have a plan in place. One of my friends is an experienced military veteran with many deployments and operations under his belt. I asked him about planning once and he said that they would spend weeks training and planning for an operation. Very often, the plan worked, however with the dynamics of combat, he explained there were other plans that went to script for the first 5 minutes, then it was just adjusting. Work outside the military is not often a matter of life and death however plans are critical to the failure and success of a company. This is all the more true, after something negative has happened. Leaders lead from the front-planning, training, etc. This is where leaders are made or revealed.
3) Remember YOU are a team.
One of the worst things any team can do after a mishap is finger pointing and blame. Sure, after analysis is important, but as a teaching tool, a leadership lesson. Solvency is the goal or any discussion, not blame. I once worked with many folks who worked for Nike earlier in their career and as many of us know Nike is a performance based workplace culture. These former employees of Nike believed in the performance base culture and the power of owning your mistakes and learning from these mistakes that they had tattoos on the inside of their forearms that read, “Own Your Shit”. The blame game just causes hurt feelings and way too much CYA’ing to the point that it becomes toxic. The very best performing company’s don’t’ tolerate that kind of behavior so just Own It and move on.
Bringing it all together. Resiliency is the backbone of growth. To foster resilience constantly remind you and your team of goals, have a detailed and specific plan and work as a team.
“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” – Joshua Waitzkin
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.