Forever changes: How resilience might just be THE life and leadership quality for our times

20140423_Sarah Durrant_0044Why is it that when faced with change, disruption and uncertainty, some people lose heart and disengage whilst others remain confident and optimistic? Why, in situations where there is limited or no control over outcomes, do some people succumb to negativity or give up while others remain positive and engaged? One answer is: Resilience.

Resilience is an increasingly valuable and necessary quality in leadership and in life. Resilience encompasses a range of qualities and capacities which enable us as human beings to remain resourceful, motivated and effective in the face of change, uncertainty and opportunity.

In their book, The Resilience Factor, Karen Reivitch and Andrew Shatte describe resilience as “our capacity to respond in healthy and productive ways when faced with adversity or trauma…essential for managing the daily stress of life.”

Forever changes…
In the sector in which I work, research communication and publishing, it’s become a well-worn joke that change and uncertainty are more or less the only things we can be certain about (along with death and taxes…). But stop and think about it and I’m sure you’ll agree, this is true of all sectors and of life in general. When we really stop to consider, change is a constant throughout human experience. Look around and you’ll notice that everything is in flux. Nothing stays the same for very long.

Some good news
The good news is resilience is a quality and a capacity available to all of us and one which we can cultivate and develop. Research shows that whatever our habitual response to uncertainty, we can develop awareness, skills, behaviours and habits to enhance our professional performance and impact and our health and well-being.

Find out more…
If you’re interested in finding out more about this remarkable capacity and how we can cultivate it, help yourself to either of two talks I gave recently, both on the topic of resilience. The first at the ER&L Conference in March in Austin, Texas and more recently a shorter session at this year’s UKSG Conference in Harrogate, UK.

I’d love to know what you think…