Three Tips for Becoming a Resilient Leader

The current reality for today’s leaders is one of tough challenges, adversity, complexity and uncertainty. We are called to step up and show up to make progress on these tough challenges and thrive. The recent Women’s Marches, now a movement worldwide, are a great example of this. How do we help ourselves and others cultivate resilience so that we can lead the change we want to see in the world?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, workplace, and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.” The APA has a great article The Road to Resilience .

Developing resilience is a personal journey. Here are three tips and resources to cultivate your resilience:

1. Learn more about resilience – watch Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In & COO of Facebook) make a heartfelt appeal for resilience and gratitude in her commencement speech to UC Berkeley graduates of 2016, where she spoke about her husbands unexpected death, for the first time.   She said her own resilience after his death came from the “three P’s”, as identified by psychologist Martin Seligman: personalization, pervasiveness and permanence.

 2. Connect with oneself – periodically throughout the day check in with yourself – what are you experiencing? thinking? feeling and needing? What is your intention going forward? What self care practices will contribute to your wellbeing? Check my blog post, Self Care for Leader Wellbeing  , September 17, 2016.

3. Connect with others – reach out for help and support from family, friends, colleagues, mentors and coaches. Offer help and support to others, knowing this benefits the you as much as the receiver. What kind of support do you need now?” Check out Linda’s blog post, Watch for the people whose eyes light up,  March 25, 2015.

These three tips: Learning about Resilience, Connecting with Yourself, and Connecting with Others, are ways I have found to cultivate greater resilience in my life and leadership.

What are your personal experiences and tips for cultivating resilience? Drop us a note at

Lillas Hatala, January 29, 2017