Resilience and the Challenger Mindset

In June, Bill Lawry from Ascend spoke at our Miramar HR Leaders Forum. We worked through the topic of resilience, and specifically the question – how do we build resilience in teams? Since then, I have been taken back to the age-old nature or nurture debate. I have been asking myself: are some of us simply born with more resilience, or is it learned?

In my view, it is something you can develop. The truth however, again in my opinion, is that to learn it you need to be prepared to put yourself in harm’s way. This means an appetite to take calculated risks and accepting that elements of failure will occur as you move forward. Recognising that the psychology behind risk taking is extensive, I want to focus in on what it means to put yourself in harm’s way.

In my experience, taking risk requires:

    • Confidence
    • A positive mindset
    • Realism – it is not a risk if you are deluded, for it to be a risk you need to recognise that you might succeed but you may also fail
    • Clarity of objective – this simplifies the agenda and fuels motivation

Confidence comes through repetition, review, embedded learning and action, over and over again. If you don’t review, you lose the opportunity to learn. As a result, you waste the opportunity to build your confidence. Yes, you might be smart enough to do it all in your head, but how much more powerful is it to take the time to document, review and embed the learning. An awareness of your personal growth can also lead to longer term fulfilment, something which you can’t measure on a balance sheet or a P&L.

So back to resilience – you can learn it but to learn it you need to put yourself in to the position to be challenged.

If COVID19 might force us to do one thing, it is to challenge ourselves to do something differently and take the time to recognise what we have learnt. Bank the learn, build your confidence and go again.

This takes me to the following, non-scientific, personal formula:

Confidence, Action, Risk, Resilience / Review, Repeat = a Challenger Mindset = PROGRESS


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