Ways to Develop Resiliency for Business Leaders


We recently discussed the importance of resilience for entrepreneurs and business owners. In fact, the degree of resilience these business leaders are able to practice might even be one of the most significant keys to the overall success of their business.


But what if resilience just isn’t your strong suit? What if you have a tough time “bouncing back” from mistakes or challenges? Or perhaps you are okay when small setbacks occur but the big ones just really throw you for a loop?


If you don’t currently consider yourself highly resilient, you might be wondering, “Can resiliency be developed?”


The good news is that many experts say, “Yes!”


Unlike some other characteristics of strong or good business leaders that may not be able to be improved or taught, resiliency is something that can be learned and strengthened over time.


Psychologist and author Sherrie Cambell recently discussed this idea in her article on entrepreneur.com titled, “7 Keys to Developing Resilience.”


The subtitle for this article states, “Smart, resilient people will always surpass geniuses who quit.”


Think about that… if resiliency is such a key success indicator, the idea that we can learn resiliency is so powerful!


Below are some of Campbell’s 7 Keys to Developing Resilience, along with commentary on how these areas might impact resilience for business leaders:


  • Self-Respect


Self-respect — or a strong sense of self-worth — is often tied to the ability to self-soothe and an internal locus of control. This means we believe in our own ability to succeed and control our own destiny. If we believe this, we should also believe we have the power to manage our emotions about mistakes and challenges and thus, self-correct for the future.


  • Drive


Drive is often equated with emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a critical component in dealing with stress and disappointment.  Primarily, because we are able to see past one specific set of circumstances or place and space in time, to the future and new possibilities.


  • Discernment


A discerning leader knows who to listen to, who to ignore, who to bring in to their circle and who to keep out. By developing discernment, a leader or business owner is able to take stock of what got them to any particular circumstance or situation and course-correct these associations for the future.


  • Being Tasteful (Classy)


Really, this likely means, simply remembering what matters… It shouldn’t be just public accolades or recognition that matters to business leaders who are “in it” for the right reasons. Thus, developing or taking a “tasteful” or classy approach to business behavior means we can accept when we “lose” as a necessary part of experiencing “wins” in the future.  In other words, we can take our lumps and bumps with grace and instead of shaming or blaming others, look for the lessons we can apply to the future for different and better outcomes.


  • Grit


Grit is a common variable many experts point to as a key characteristic of those with high resiliency. Grit is basically doing whatever it takes—even when whatever it takes doesn’t feel good or isn’t fun. Grit is what enables us to get back up when we fall, and try again. Without it, we might stop after one (or two or three or more) failures, that occur right before our greatest success(es)/


  • External Focus of Concern / Empathy


Sometimes we just aren’t meant to win. There is almost always a “winner” and “loser” in everything or every situation. It won’t always —and doesn’t have to always be — us. There are occasions when the other person, department, or company, deserves it more. Maybe they worked harder. Or maybe not. Regardless, it wasn’t our time. We can’t sit around feeling angry and jilted because that does us no real good. We just have to accept that we didn’t win this time and next time, we need to be that much better.


No doubt, it’s fairly easy to see how and why resiliency can be critical for entrepreneurs. However, when considering these characteristics of resiliency, it becomes apparent that it is almost important for all leaders, and even employees, to learn how to be more resilient.


If you are not satisfied with your current level of resilience, the aforementioned sections should help you identify potential areas of improvement that empower you to progress along the way to enjoying greater resiliency — and success(!)— in business AND life.