Bouncing Back

In every defeat and in every failure are the seeds of greatness.  It is less about what happens to you as a leader than what you do with what happens that matters.  Great leaders are resilient and know how to adjust quickly in the face of adversity.

When faced with hardship it is not uncommon to find yourself in denial or disbelief. You may find yourself wondering less about how to get out the situation and more about how you got into it in the first place just like US Airways pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.  Celebrated for his coolness in ditching an Airbus 320 in the Hudson River following a bird strike, Sullenberger has shared a critical observation, “…everything I had done in my career,” he said, “had in some way been a preparation for that moment.”

Preparing for both success and failure fuels your ability as a leader to bounce back quickly and to bring order to difficult circumstances.  Understanding failure creates the essential framework for successful change and innovation. But if not managed correctly, it can create doubt, damage self-esteem and cripple your leadership skills.

The Road to Resilience a white paper produced by the American Psychological Association identifies six essential steps to maintaining your resilience as a person and as a leader.  They include: taking decisive actions; looking for opportunities for self-discovery; nurturing a positive view of yourself; keeping things in perspective; maintaining a hopeful outlook and taking care of yourself.

Remember you chose leadership for a reason.  As “Sully” Sullenberger reminds us, “…people are best served when they find their passion early on, because we tend to be good at things we’re passionate about.”  Get back in the game. Now!

2 thoughts on “Bouncing Back”

  1. As we have heard for many decades.. prepare for the worst, expect the best. I try to lead my team with this philosophy as well. We need to be positive to continue to motivate not only those we work with, but even ourselves (point 6 from above). However, we all know that sometimes failure is inevitable. Contingency plans have never been more crucial in these times of low tolerance (economy does that to us all).

    Thanks for the great reminder, Kerry.

    Valerie Fries, MM

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