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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

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way



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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy



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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds



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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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