The Resilient Leader

With the constant movement of people, whether because of shifting employment or looking for a better life, along with the influence of technology in our lives, changes occur rapidly.

One group which is challenged with figuring out how to deal with all these changes is ministry leaders. Since what they have to offer is free – the message of the cross – and counter-cultural, they must figure out daily how to adjust to changes and remain relevant while also staying true to the message of the Gospel.

This is where a resilient leader makes all the difference. The reality is fairly straightforward: be resilient or become irrelevant and stagnate.

This raises the question: What is a resilient leader? Resilience is not a gift or something you come by naturally. It is something you can and must develop and nurture.

A resilient leader is a person who sees failures as temporary setbacks they can recover from quickly. They maintain a positive attitude and a strong sense of opportunity during periods of turbulence. When faced with ambiguity, a resilient leader finds ways to move forward and avoids getting stuck. Joseph Folkman

 All leaders face setbacks and challenges at one time or another. The resilient leader is the one who is able to face the setbacks and challenges, and overcome them rather than being defeated by them.

  1. The resilient leader is grounded on a solid foundation of deeply held core values. They know the values that drive their life in totality. They are very clear on the lines they will not cross at any cost. They are known to be principled and trustworthy.Becoming a resilient leader requires that you are clear on the deeply held values that drive your life on a daily basis.
  2. Resilient leaders practice self-care and renewal. Resilience is difficult if you neglect self-care and self-renewal. Resiliency calls for you to be in a good place emotionally, spiritually, physically and socially.

Resilient leaders who are happy and doing meaningful work make time for activities that revitalize them physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Personal renewal generates the energy leaders need to show up for demanding work. Elle Allison

Resilient people place self-nurturing as a priority in their lives. They take time on a regular basis to do things they enjoy which relax and renew them.

  1. Adaptability is an essential aspect of resiliency. Leaders who can’t adapt will not be able to cope with the rapid changes taking place around them, and they will not be able to lead their people into the future.

Resilient people are adaptable and flexible. They understand that some things are beyond their control, and they choose their battles wisely. They cope well with change because they see it as part of life’s journey, and they embrace it rather than fight it.”  Rosalind Cardinal

Adaptability does not mean compromising your core values or adjusting with every wind of change that blows your way. What it does mean is having the ability to make changes that will better enable you to guide those you are leading through changes without losing your way. Furthermore, you are able to adapt to changes and challenges without compromising your core values or that of the organization you are leading.

  1. Resilient leaders have support. They don’t go it alone nor do they believe they can. Lone Ranger leaders are not resilient leaders. Resilient leaders must be open to the honest and sometimes difficult assessment of their views from those they respect. They need others whom they trust to be honest with them and who can model a life of resilience.

Resiliency can be learned and developed over time. These changing and challenging times call for resilient leaders. You can be one of those leaders if you are willing and intentional in developing your resiliency muscles.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or 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.