Through my career, I’ve noticed that great leaders share this key trait, resilience. I define resilience as the ability to adapt in the face of change, challenges or setbacks, and to continue to strive towards that end goal while positively supporting your team.
As a leader, it’s important to build your resilience, so that you can impart this ability to be resilient on those that you lead.
My approach to improving resilience focuses on these three areas:
- Your Physical Well-Being
- Your Mindset
- Your Purpose
Step 1 – Improve your Physical Well-being by creating a daily well being routine
Having a high level of physical well-being means improved stress levels, more positive relationships and better productivity.
According to Gallup, “Those with a high physical well-being simply have more energy to get more done in less time. They are more likely to be in a good mood… boosting the engagement of their colleagues and customers.” While this sounds easy to understand, it is often the area that we least apply ourselves to.
Coach Tip: Build a daily routine that helps your body and mind cope better with stress. This routine can include getting enough sleep, regular exercise, reflecting (keep a journal), relaxing by doing activities that you love and eating healthy. I remember it simply as “Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat!”
Step 2 – Expand your Mindset by being open minded
Sometimes the biggest barriers we create, are in our minds.
Our perspective of life is often based on our attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions, rather than knowledge. Negative and inflexible thinking or perspectives can prevent our ability to see the big picture or view things objectively. It can also hinder our ability to find creative and alternative routes to tackle challenges.
Coach Tip: When facing a difficult situation and you’re struggling to see a way through, try these exercises.
1. Take a different perspective. An exercise I have regularly used with clients is asking “If another person faced this challenge, what they would say or do?” The purpose of this exercise is to get you to examine the challenge from a different perspective and open your mind up to new ways of thinking.
2. Replicate success. There is probably a high likelihood that one or more people that you know have faced a similar challenge. Reach out to them and find how they tackled it and what was the outcome. This can help you can devise new strategies to how you might tackle your challenge
Step 3 – Find your Purpose through self-reflection
Once you’ve written these things down, think about how you can incorporate some or all of these ideas into your life.
Having a strong sense of life purpose and aligning your activities to that purpose creates a more robust foundation for your wellbeing as a leader. It’s not often easy to do this, but it’s worth asking yourself the hard questions in order to thrive.
Coach Tip: Self-talk and reflection are a powerful tool. Go old school with a pen and paper and ask yourself these questions:
- What would I do, even I was not paid?
- What do my family and friends say I am good at or should be doing as a job
- If I won the lotto, what would I spend my time doing?
- What activities make my soul come to life?
- What is my perfect day?
Your Physical Wellbeing, Mindset and Purpose are interlinked. For example, it’s hard to think clearly if you are physically unhealthy and so on. As a leader, maintaining personal resilience is as important as building other business or organisational skills. By tackling these aspects together, your potential to positively and productively deal with and manage challenges will mean you will be a better leader and a better participant.
Rajiv Jayarajah is the Founder of Bare Inc, a consulting and professional coaching firm specialising in creating clarity for business owners and leaders so that they can achieve their goals faster. It’s easy to connect, go to LinkedIn, Instagram @bare_coach or http://www.bareinc.com.au.