Dictionary.com defines resilience as: “the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched.” In other words resiliency is the ability of a company, church, or person to bounce back after facing major adversity or suffering a life altering challenge.
Drop a Christmas ornament and it shatters. Drop an orange and it bruises. Drop a hard rubber ball and it bounces right back. These objects all react differently because they have differing compositions. They’re made of different stuff. Similarly companies, churches, and people have different compositions. When faced with serious adversity some organizations fall apart. Some put their head down, do what they’ve always done, and survive but emerge wounded and bruised. Some, however have the capacity to bounce right back.
In the book Bounce author Keith McFarland (who also wrote The Breakthrough Company) asserts that there are six steps to rebounding from tough times.
Step #1: Embrace the Bounce
It’s not a question of if you, your company, or church will need to change, but when it will need to change. The single most important factor that will determine your resilience is not resistance to stress but adaptability in the face of stress. If you don’t change when change happens you’ll be left in the dust.
Step #2: Manage the Anxiety
The right amount of anxiety can focus our attention and motivate change. The wrong amount on the other hand can thwart your effectiveness entirely. Great leaders know how to convert “Anxiety 1” (people’s fear of what might happen to them as a result of change) to “Anxiety 2” (people’s fear of what might happen to them if they do not adapt to that change).
Step #3: Manage the Mental Factors
Good leaders know how to manage their own mental process in times of stress and how to help their team do the same. They have the ability to 1) See things as they really are 2) Treat the causes, not the symptoms 3) They emphasize a “we control” versus a “they control” mentality 4) Help the team stay together by “holding hands in traffic.”
Step #4: Manage the Money
When it comes to managing money in a difficult time we need to remember that money can serve three different roles: #1 It can serve as a signal for change #2 It can serve as a shock absorber to drastic change #3 It can serve as a strategic compass heading forward towards new endeavors and priorities.
Step #5: Manage the Mission
Downturns provide the unique opportunity to refocus, rediscover, or find for the very first time the mission of the organization. The mission is that one thing that must be accomplished, regardless of the obstacles that are standing in the way. This moment gives the organization the opportunity to restructure itself based driven uniquely by the mission.
Step #6: Manage the Morale
Give your people something worth fighting for and morale will be high, guaranteed. People want strong, decisive leaders, but also leaders who will listen. People want to be around others who see things as they are but also keep one eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. People want to be surrounded by pragmatic people who are also people of character.
What is the best step you’ve taken or piece of advice you’ve followed to turn tough times into triumph?
Posted in Leadership