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How Leaders Embrace Resilience During Tough Times



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The global business environment is highly dynamic and challenging. The competition is cut-throat. You must run a little faster than others to keep your lead. It is tough to predict the very next moment as there is uncertainty everywhere and there is no assurance that the decisions that you make will definitely deliver fruitful outcomes. The leaders and CEOs find it challenging to beat the competition. They find it more challenging to predict the developments in technology. Some companies have been defunct while some have become bankrupt. There is an urgent need to build resilient organizations globally to beat the competition. It calls for building resilient teams and leaders who can build resilient organizations that can beat the competition and ensure sustainability. 

Resilient leaders

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is resilience. Successful people know how to bounce back from adversities, disappointments and failures while unsuccessful people brood over constantly about their failures and hesitate to explore and experiment further.   

Resilient leaders make things fall into place, unlike other leaders. They don’t blame their circumstances. Instead, they take responsibility and invest their efforts to influence situations and outcomes. They don’t brood over their past mistakes. Instead, they explore ideas to overcome their challenges. They are part of the solutions, not problems. 

When the sailing is smooth any Tom, Dick, and Harry can become a hero or star or leader.  However, when the sailing becomes rough, it calls for resilient leaders who can take on the challenges and changes squarely. The real leaders emerge when the ship is sailing through the storm to take it to the shore smoothly. Tough times call for resilient leaders who have the guts and vision to handle the crisis.  Storms bring out the real stars, heroes, and leaders. Problems are blessings in disguise for those leaders who have a huge potential.

Alan Mulally, Lou Gerstner, and Carleton (Carly) S. Fiorina are resilient leaders who turned around their organizations successfully. Alan Mulally led Ford from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability, respectability, and stability. It is an amazing turnaround story in the corporate world which is a blend of both financial belt-tightening and a cultural change in the auto industry. It serves as an ideal case study for management graduates globally. Lou Gerstner is a resilient leader who successfully turned around IBM through focused effort and disciplined execution. Carly Fiorina shattered the glass ceiling by standing up against male-dominated leaders. She was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company—Hewlett-Packard (HP). 

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” ― Gever Tulley

Embrace change 

When you look at Eastman Kodak which was a leader for many years filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and Blockbuster Video became defunct in 2013. Similarly, Borders which was one of the largest book retailers in the US became defunct in 2011. Why did these companies which had great brands initially fail finally? It is because they failed to adapt to change. 

The leaders must not only embrace change but also lead to change during normal and turbulent times. Being prepared to change mentally helps them avert turbulent times within the organization. Hence, leaders must have organizational agility to achieve organizational adaptability. When we look at leaders who led change successfully through organizational adaptability, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric comes to our mind. Jack Welch was a trendsetter. He led by example. He was straightforward and a master strategist who believed in a brutal execution. 

Leaders must adopt tools and techniques to adapt to change. Here is a blueprint to embrace change effectively. Keep your vision right and straight, and articulate it effectively. Create organizational culture conducive to bringing out change. Communicate clearly about the need to change. Enlighten people about the implications of the status quo.  Show them benefits once the change is implemented.  Coordinate all stakeholders effectively. Remove the roadblocks by allaying their apprehensions. Show them small gains to ensure that the entire change takes place smoothly without any resistance.

Manage uncertainty

There is all-around uncertainty everywhere in the world. Whether it is for leaders or followers, employers or employees, everybody is subjected to uncertainty. People must learn to cultivate an attitude to understand and adjust to uncertainty. They must cultivate such a mindset and explore accordingly to survive in the world.   

Whenever we confront uncertainty, we must identify the bottlenecks that create challenges for us.  We must look at the impact of damage on the strategies and tasks that we do. We need to view the root of the issues and work feasible solutions to keep ourselves aligned with our goals. We must take remedial action and monitor closely and keenly whether we succeeded in containing the root of the uncertainty.

Convert threats into opportunities

Resilient leaders are very much aware of external disturbances and prepare mentally to come out with flying colors.  If Colonel Sanders gave up, we would not have had KFC, if Thomas Edison gave up, we would not have had an electric bulb, if Albert Einstein gave up, we would not have known the theory of relativity.  Hence, all these legends persisted in their efforts throughout their convictions by managing external disturbances.  They converted their threats into opportunities and, finally, made everything possible. Resilient leaders don’t blame others.  They take responsibility for their actions and raise the hopes of others.  

The theoretical knowledge equips you with some ideas and insights on resilience while the practical knowledge equips you with time-tested tools and techniques to acquire resilience. Hence, both theoretical and practical knowledge is essential to building your resilience. When you put into a percentage, it is more of a practical experience that leads to building resilience. To conclude, to survive and succeed in the 21st century whether you are an individual or an institution, you must be resilient to build resilient organizations to ensure organizational excellence and effectiveness. 

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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Success Advice

Mastering Self-Management for Success: Lessons From Peter F. Drucker

With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success.



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How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



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How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
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Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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