Remember the Bozo the Clown punching bag that your parents bought you as a child? I certainly do. They could have given me a Superman or Batman punching bag but opted for the Bozo, setting me on a clear path for life…but that’s for another post.
I’ve always been impressed by Leaders who are resilient. They, much like Bozo, know the difference between what matters and what doesn’t. The few things that matter are like Bozo’s foundation: that bag of sand that he had around his feet. The rest, while it has a certain structure, doesn’t matter much; like the rest of the Bozo toy. When you’re feeling frazzled just ask, “What really matters?” Take the time to answer it.
Effective Leaders are resilient under pressure. They know what matters and it serves as their solid foundation. With everything else, they flex. And they smile. When punched around by circumstances (or by people), they flex, smile and return to an upright position.
As a Leader, do you know what matters? Are you utterly clear about the purpose of your organization? Are you utterly focused on your mission? Do you make every decision based on the impact it will have on the mission? Every decision. Not “most” decisons; not “strategic decisions.” Every decision. This is the key to resilience.
Resilient Leaders also think differently about time. They think backwards about time. In the mind of the Resilient Leader the mission is accomplished, the vision complete. Today, therefore, is lived in the context of a new potential future. Resilience comes when today’s experience (difficult or delightful) occurs in the context of a nearly certain vision.
So, here’s a quick Resilience Quiz:
- Do you know the clear purpose of your endeavor?
- Can the three people with whom you work most closely communicate that purpose with the same passion as you?
- Does that purpose compel you?
- Have you willingly sacrificed something of significance for that purpose?
- Have others?
Yes to all: You are one resilient Bozo. 🙂
Next time: Resilient Leaders Create Resilient Organizations.