Getting it Right –
Resilience and Responsible leadership

August 12, 2020

Is it possible to view responsible leadership as the gritty determination that underpins robust development of personal and interpersonal nous? The confident responsible leader that is able to exude hope and personal effectiveness, is worthy of inspired followers.
The collective optimism may feel contagious and be like having your resilience battery permanently charged up. I love the sound of that, not the bit about being permanently switched on or in top gear 100% of the time, but being able to access it whenever and wherever I need it. For myself and my team.

I have often thought about how to show up as a responsible leader, always with an eye on societal contribution. In conversation with my daughter, she is quick to counter personal observations about fitness with an echo that I certainly recognise “you just need to do more varied exercise”. Colleagues might query my view on fun when I get excited about a recently learned skill or app I can now use. Clients may call or email knowing that we will find a workable solution to their most recent challenge. All of these varied situations give rise to the chance to do the right thing and get it right (note to self: the resilient responsible leader is focused on getting it right and not about being right).

Being absolutely clear about what is within your gift and what is out of scope is really important. A responsible leader knows this territory well, and knows the diverse team of people that best support high performance outputs. I have worked on developing my gifts that are within scope and connect with others to explore a much broader range of skills and solution providers. I have become familiar with the situations that are battery drainers and battery rechargers and now take a more considered approach to how I invest my time.

It really helps to be focused on getting it right, and always involves the asking of more questions and listening well.

As a leader, remember to re-evaluate what you and your organisation need, if this may exclude members of your current team – treat it as a kindness, a piece of valuable feedback. Whenever you need to rebuild a team, to get it right, ensure your positive intent is clear. Give them a chance to evaluate their next steps, in a way that maintains their resilience, hope and optimism for their future. Maybe their ideal tribe is elsewhere, another role, another team. Maybe your greatest gift to them as their current leader is to support them in making their confident choice.

My call to action is for all leaders to behave responsibly in the best interests of getting it right for the organisation and for those who are under their leadership.

Thirty years later with the benefit of the resources now available to me, I wish I could have taught the younger me that it was ok to not be ok and to set goals to better learn to blend the compartments of my life and to stop and smell the roses along the way. I’m sorry to say too, that employers then were ‘old school’ and checking in on mental and physical well being was not de rigeur as it increasingly is now. Beware. Drive can also be a time thief.