Leadership Resilience: A Solid Foundation

Leadership-Resilience-FoundationI’ve been writing about leadership resilience and the steps leaders take to overcome setbacks and adversity. A healthy mindset takes the most prudent steps. You don’t have to look far to see leaders regard immediate action, any action, as a step in the right direction. This is faulty, dangerous thinking.

Before any action plan is initiated, great leaders establish the proper foundational conditions within the organization. Steadiness in the culture—in the corporate mentality—is essential. I’ve seen this in my coaching practice: as the leader enhances their own mindset, they inspire staff, especially management.

This lays the foundation for your leadership initiative to become everyone’s initiative. Ownership (by everyone) and dedication (of everyone) is needed to see things through. The obstacle needs to be removed, and it’s going to take persistence. The roadblock won’t go away by itself, and no one has a magic wand to make it disappear. Only facing it head on will suffice. The effort will not be a sprint but a marathon, so you need to prepare everyone for endurance. Quitting is not an option.

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform disaster of 2011 was a classic example of leadership not following this principle. Responses were stalled, uncoordinated and unaccountable to the public, the government, and the families. A solid foundation of initiative and prudence was clearly missing. Trust in BP plummeted, and the poisoning of the environment far exceeded what was considered up to that point as tragic.

When you chart a strong course with structured steps for staff to follow, overcoming adversity is more manageable and less stressful. If more leaders would learn this preliminary process, more crises would be overcome well. This is the meat of an effective setback defeat.

What do you think? When faced with a crisis or setback in your organization, will a solid foundation be in place?

I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here and on LinkedIn.

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