Becoming a Resilient Leader – Part 2

Photo credit: James Jordan / Foter / CC BY-NDLast week in part one, I looked at three areas a leader should focus on in becoming a resilient leader: what is your passion, what are you good at, and self-acceptance.

This week I want to highlight four more areas. As noted last week, these suggestions are by no means exhaustive.

Know your values. Resilient leaders know their values. Values are derived from your beliefs and convictions. You must decide what is most important in your life. Is it family, maintaining your integrity, helping others, making a difference or honoring God with all that you are?

The challenge some leaders have with values is that they know in their heads what they would like their values to be, but they find themselves acting outside of what they want. This happens when a leader fails to take the time to clarify their values and intentionally decide to let these values define them. Your values must move from your head as knowledge to your heart as convictions.

I once heard a dad say, “I’m teaching my son to learn to say ‘no’ before he has to say ‘no.’” What he meant was that he was helping his son to decide on the things he would say “no” to long before he ever faced those situations.

Resilient leaders learn to say “no” long before they have to say “no” by clarifying their values before their values are put to the test.

Self-care. Resilient leaders take care of themselves. If you are tired and over-worked, and don’t eat properly, sleep adequately, play or exercise regularly, you will struggle to be resilient. Physical, emotional, spiritual and relational care are essential to becoming a resilient leader.

When you are intentional with self-care, you are less likely to make poor decisions, compromise your principles, become unreasonably angry and/or treat others poorly. You discover you rarely have to apologize for your words or actions, because you are always responding to people and situations from a good place rather than reacting from a place of tiredness and/or anger.

Boundaries. Do you know your limits? Do you know when a situation is becoming unsafe for you because it is pushing the boundaries of your values? I have a friend in the tech business, and he tells the story of someone who came to him to do some work for which he was going to be well paid. But as he listened to the prospective client talk about what they do and what they were going to use his product for, my friend realized it would compromise the boundaries he had set for how he conducts his business. The money was considerably more than he was used to being paid for his work. He recalls how tempting it was to take on this client because of the money. But because he had boundaries set ahead of this encounter, he was able to turn down the business.

Do you know the boundaries that keep you from compromising your values as a leader?

Support Team. Do you have support team? When you are facing a major crisis in life such as losing your job, difficulties in your marriage or threatening illness, to whom do you turn? I can hear many of you saying, well, I turn to God. That is all well and good, and very important. But we live in community and we need each other; this is the way God designed us to live. God shows up in people, and therefore, we need to have a support team to help us hear, see and follow God’s will.

Your support team is built upon long-term relationships and may include your spouse, mentor(s), family members, best friends and personal small groups.

Your support team has faith in you. They don’t care about your external successes or failures; they care about you as a person. They can be painfully honest with you, and you will not shut them off, get angry at them or rationalize why you are right and they are wrong.

Personally, I have two small groups I meet with weekly that are part of my support team. I also have two mentors and my spouse who make up my support team.

Resilient leaders are intentional about creating a support team. They know that life will get rough along the way, and in the midst of the difficulty, they will need support to navigate through difficult times.

Almost weekly we are shocked and saddened by the revelation of a well-known leader losing their way because they lacked the resiliency to stay strong and not give in to the temptation of either compromising their values or giving up too soon or too easily.

How resilient are you as a leader? Do you have what it takes to navigate through the tough times, or do you run the risk of losing your way?

Do you want to be remembered as someone who was resilient and left a positive, lasting legacy? Then I challenge you to be intentional, stating today, to focus on developing your resiliency as a leader.

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

Photo credit: James Jordan / Foter / CC BY-ND