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A simple process for recharging your Leadership Resilience during tough times

Claire Walton, Leadership Coach

In March 2020, I partnered with Nigel Wright and facilitated a Group Coaching Session for Human Resources Leaders, aimed at: refreshing sense of purpose, reframing the current challenges, adapting with confidence and building social support.

We did this by asking these leaders to identify or refresh their Leadership Purpose for the challenging period we currently face.

Resilience is something that takes action to create and maintain. There is lots of messaging out there reminding us to ensure good sleep, nutrition, exercise, hydration, time in nature and mindfulness habits. This will help maintain your resilience.

Leaders are probably experiencing their most challenging period in their role to date. The pressure to protect employee physical and mental health, to provide customers with what they need and to protect jobs and even perhaps organisational sustainability can be quite overwhelming.

Critical to leadership resilience in facing these challenges is:

Internal confidence – a sense of competence for the tasks that need doing, a strong sense of self-esteem based on knowing you are adding value with your competence and experience of positive emotions; in particular hope.

Purposefulness – having a clear sense of leadership purpose and personal values to provide energy, drive and direction.

Adaptability – being able to quickly let go of previous ways of doing things and embracing new ways with enthusiasm even if uncomfortable to begin with.

Strong social support – building relationships where you can ask for and receive support, show your insecurities and be encouraged to be authentic.

Simon Sinek, an author of ‘Start with Why,’ uses a simple construct to help leaders articulate their purpose.

“To… (Contribution)………………………so that (Impact)………………. (To whom)………….”

I used my own Leadership Purpose as an example:

(Contribution) Helping leaders develop capability and confidence, so that (impact) they can make a positive difference (to whom) to themselves, their teams, their organisations and the communities they serve.

We used this construct to help these leaders reflect on and clearly articulate their purpose.

Following this I demonstrated how to use your Leadership Purpose  to recharge your resilience through a ‘laser’ coaching session. The idea, in brief, is outline below.

The idea in brief:

  • Imagine a time when the current crisis is over, when you have achieved your leadership purpose and your organisation has stabilised and is thriving again. When you get to this place imagine what it feels like to be standing there.
  • Think about what you can see and hear in the organisation.
  • Imagine what positive impact this is having on you.
  • Consider what positive impact this is having on your colleagues, other employees, customers and the communities in which you operate.
  • Reflect on what you are able to do now that you were not able to back in March 2020.
  • Then reflect on yourself as a leader today:
    • Consider the important changes you personally had to make in order to get to this imagined point in the future.
    • What did you have to let go of?
    • What could have derailed you?
    • What actions do you need to take, that you are not taking now, to make this future a reality?
    • Which of these actions can you take immediately?
  • Finally, consider who can help you succeed in achieving your purpose and your imagined future reality?

You can try this exercise as an individual reflection, writing down as you go, or sitting with your eyes closed and only writing down your insights at the end of your reflection.

Alternatively, you can ask someone to coach you through the exercise.

This exercise, is a simple and yet incredibly effective approach to slowing down the pace you are working at, allowing you to connect with your emotional intelligence and recharge your leadership resilience.

Claire Walton

Leadership Coach

Leaders are Making A Difference Ltd

07703 797 614

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