Principle 10: Model It!

By Jenny Campbell|February 27, 2019|Enabling the Resilient Organisation|

Principle 10, enabling resilience, resilience engine, jenny campbell

These results demonstrate a somewhat profound disconnect between what organisations believe are the best strategies to build resilience, and what they are actually doing.
In fact, there is a strong suggestion in the results that organisations largely do not know exactly which programmes produce the best results in the cultivation of resilience. Or, that they may in fact be pinning their hopes on initiatives that do little or nothing to promote true resilience.
Penna Organisational Resilience Survey June 2018
Data from 700 senior HR professionals in 7 European countries

Model resilience, your capacity for change. That means investing in it, talking about the up’s and down’s of it, putting a personal stamp to it. It might all seem really obvious, after all, it’s what leaders are asked to do all the time about all sorts of thing –brand values, people processes, how to manage clients, the way things are done around here, managing change. It’s all about walking the talk, showing that you mean what you say.

But many leaders don’t manage it. Why? Two key reasons:

  1. The leader does not have enough capacity to make the changes within their own area.AND/OR
  2. The change – the resilience demand – is anti-cultural. If it’s embraced, it will mean the leader will stand out as going against the grain. Exposure. It’s a very demanding scenario from a resilience point of view.

Because leaders, like their employees, when forced to be vulnerable also feel powerless
Glenn Llopis
Forbes, May 16th 2017

Both reasons are where the resilience demand of the situation is greater than the current resilience levels of the leader. If the leader doesn’t act fully on the change, it ends up looking like lip service. And that of course blows the change out of the water; people smell a rat.

Here’s the nub of making difficult changes. If the leader sees themselves as a credible carrier of this new change, plus has invested in their capacity for change, they will enact on it. If they don’t see themselves as credible, they will worry about how others will see them and do nothing or very little. It’s really all about the leader’s confidence in their own value within the organisation.

Since confidence is an outcome of resilience, it comes down to this: the resilience gap in the situation can be filled if the leader invests for real in their own resilience. So I am not talking about modelling as in a fashion model putting on a superb new coat. No! Modelling resilience is about living and breathing it. It  doesn’t mean lying on the psychologist’s bed talking about your upbringing but it does mean  means a deliberate investment into your energies, purpose, and attitudes and skills that enable you to be the most adaptable. We call it your Resilience Engine®.

We would be delighted to discuss more about we can help you get it right for the resilience and wellbeing of your people and organisation.  Get in touch via

                                                                                                                                                                      Author: Jenny Campbell

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