Be Resilient

As a small business owner or an exec in a larger organization, you already know that things can and will go wrong. Many companies already have business continuity plans, a plan to keep them in business through unforeseen disasters, natural or otherwise. These plans are reactive and focus on specific, worst cast scenarios. Equipment and facilities can be replaced or restored and a good continuity plan will make that happen in a quick and efficient way, minimizing the impact on the availability of the goods or services the business provides.

As a leader, even on the small team level, it is equally, if not more important that you instill resiliency in your people. A resilient team will respond to large and small setbacks by supporting each other and rebounding while maintaining cohesion.

Being resilient is a fundamental ingredient for longevity. For anything or anyone to last a long time there must be some ability to rebound from adversity, to recover to a former level of wholeness. It is most common for people to think of resilience in the context of physical wholeness; how quickly and able we are to recover from a physical injury or illness. Resilience is all around us though, in nature, in organizations, in businesses, in nations and cultures and without it those things cease to exist.

I’m not just talking about recovery form a good workout or getting over losing your cell phone. Resilience is also what enables an individual to recover from losing a limb from an IED or finding out their investments have disappeared, events and circumstances that alter our lives at a very basic level.

It is recognized that there are five key fitness components to an individual’s ability to rebound; to be resilient, particularly in an environment of uncertainty.

  • Physical Fitness includes a broad spectrum; diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep, environment, substance abuse, and behavioral health.
  • Psychological Fitness starts with brain health and includes cognitive fitness like decision making, reasoning and problem solving. The emotional aspect involves balance in one’s life, adjusting to demands, managing stress, and maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Social Fitness includes relationship satisfaction, networking for support, teamwork, commitment to, and support from one’s community.
  • Spiritual Fitness is acknowledging some greater power that will help you through a difficult time, worship, having a life purpose, recognizing ethical and moral behavior.
  • Familial Fitness is having a good relationship with your immediate family, regardless of who it is that you call ‘family’. It includes quality of life and how one deals with the emotional, physical and financial needs of family members; the quality and cohesiveness of the family unit.

When these five areas are intact and being maintained it builds a good foundation for a resilient individual, team and organization. Take some time for self-evaluation and make adjustments to what you are doing to improve your resilience factor. Look at your team and know how they are doing, what they are doing to be and stay fit in all five categories.

If you are a leader in an organization, ask yourself what you are doing to encourage and enhance development in each area for your team or employees. You can also ask them what they need. Asking an employee or subordinate “What can I do to make your family life better?” will go a long way.

Resilience is not an ‘off the shelf’ commodity. It can, however, be nurtured and improved over time by establishing good practices. It is not something you develop ‘just in case’. It is not a question of IF but WHEN you will need to be resilient. Take control of your life and BE RESILIENT!!!!