(Author’s Note: This post was originally written in July 2020, when all of us were in the depths of the initial wave of Covid, and its impact on everything. I am on vacation this week, recharging my batteries and building up my own resilience. So this post spoke, loudly, to me. And, with the business environment tougher in many ways than it was 6-9 months ago, this seems like a good time to share this message again. Enjoy! – Dean)
It is funny how things work sometimes. The word resilience has popped up in four different ways for me over the last week. One of our advisors mentioned the importance of it to me; so did a client, in reference to her own organization; a friend sent me a podcast on the topic; and one of my children asked me what the word meant. So, the word has been on my mind, a lot.
I am not sure there has ever been a period where resilience has been more important. When the economy is strong, when your business is cranking along, when the wind is at your back, life and business are easy. (Well, let’s agree they are easier. I am not sure they are ever easy.) When things are going well, business is easier. Leadership is easier. Success is more attainable. When the wind is at your back, it is easy to get up every morning. It is easy to have a bounce in your step that is infectious for those around you.
But how about when the wind is not at your back? How about when the wind is blowing hard, right in your face, and it is a cold, biting, piercing wind? When things get rough, everything is harder. And that is where we find the measure of the person, the depth of the leader. Where will your energy come from? Will you be able to generate it on your own? Will you have enough resilience to recharge your own battery?
This is where your success is going to be made or broken. Because during the tough times, you will have to find ways to recharge your batteries. It won’t happen on its own, and no one is going to take care of it for you.
So how do you make yourself more resilient? How do you recharge those batteries? Entire books have been written on the topic, but here are a few thoughts:
- Have a higher purpose for your work, above and beyond financial performance. Because if your only goal is the financials, when the financials turn red, it will be hard to know why you are doing what your are doing. A higher purpose that transcends profit will help.
- Have a sense of things that you bring to the world. Know your value and your own strengths. Because when the markets turn against you, there will be fewer external indicators of your value. You better have a sense of it because you are going to need to remind yourself.
- Have people around you who can reinforce your sense of purpose and self. When times get bad, you will need reinforcement from others, because your own voice might not be enough.
- Have other methods for recharging your batteries. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music, disconnect entirely… whatever works for you. Playing with my kids always works for me, because they are a HUGE part of my higher purpose (see #1 above), and they always say things that amaze me. Tending to my garden also works wonders for my soul. But you will need your own recharging strategies.
My colleagues and I always talk and write about the power of communication. We teach systems for preparation and practice, we share mindsets and concepts, and we do everything we can to fill up your toolbox. But we also teach you to be in touch with your inner, authentic self. The place where the true you originates, where your energy comes from.
Great communication ultimately comes from a strong inner self, the place where your conviction and resilience originate as well. Take care of the inner you, so that there is a well spring of resilience available when you need it. Like, for example, right now.
Have a great day, and take good care of yourself.
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Dean, I love your blog posts and this one was particularly timely. I’m NOT on vacation and still found a quite relevant… Interesting that so much has changed since the height of the pandemic and yet we still need the same basic things. Thank you for these and for all you and The Latimer Group and LatimerNext do to make us better communicators.
Thanks Lisa! Looking forward to our next chat!