3 Steps Build Leadership Resilience to Face Challenges

a cartoon business man is stumbling up a bumpy growth curve Build Leadership Resilience

Do You Know How to Build Leadership Resilience?
Here is what Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said about the importance of resilience in running successful organizations: “If you think of [resilience] in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But…with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”

Smart leaders understand that, to succeed, one of the critical factors is the ability to be resilient – to change as needed and to be agile in the face of unexpected challenges.  That means you must build leadership resilience.

Disruption is Coming
There are so many ways the market can shift abruptly and without warning. The economy can tank, the competition can come out with a new and better product, and whole industries can collapse. Even small disruptions can threaten the viability of your business.

Only those organizations that have figured out how to prepare for small and large disruptions are the ones that will thrive. In fact, our recent organizational alignment research found that leadership’s ability to respond to relevant market and industry changes was the top-rated factor for companies that grew 58% faster growth and had 72% higher profits.

3 Steps Build Leadership Resilience to Face Challenges
Is there a way to build leadership resilience into your organization? There are certainly some steps you can take that will help you overcome the bumps along the way.

  1. Spread Your Bets
    This is not to say that you should not focus on the strategy that is best designed to get you where you want to go. Certainly you don’t want to dilute your efforts by running in too many directions at once. But you should have a viable Plan B.

    Or at least you should be working on two time cycles at once – one for the short-term and the other for the long-term.

  2. Respect the Power of Middle Managers
    One of the ways businesses trimmed their budgets during the last economic downturn was to flatten their organizations and do away with many middle managers. But it is middle managers who can make the difference when change is forced upon you. They are often the frontline interpreters between leadership and employees.

    When managers buy into necessary change, your organization is more than half-way there. In other words, middle management is your force for resilience. Keep them well prepared and actively involved.

  3. Welcome Different Working Styles
    After two decades working with clients around strategy, culture and talent, we advocate building an intentional and purposeful culture by design. But that does not mean that everyone has to think the same. Your employees should share values and support the company mission as one. But there is enormous resilience that stems from different points of view and working styles.

    You want clear and compelling goals that your team has accepted and is driving toward. However, if everyone thinks the same way, you lose the value of different ways of addressing problems and miss out on potentially game breaking insights that come from diverse backgrounds.

The Bottom Line
Your ability to build change resilience may make or break your success as a leader. These three steps will start you in the right direction.  Have a Plan B, build the strength of middle management, and include different styles of thinking on your teams.

To learn more about how to be an effective change leader, download 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Successful Change Leadership

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