Resilience is vital to both personal and business success.

It’s the ability to recover quickly, to adapt and to move in the face of adversity or trauma.  It combines mental toughness and agility with a sort of emotional strength. Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience distress. Stress and emotional discomfort are a part of building resiliency in people. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. It takes perseverance to NOT quit. 

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or don’t have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. I do think in many business environments today we don’t do a good job of growing resilience. I think we often allow people to give up or give in before they should. We allow them to quit, and fire the management or fire the business before any real tests have taken place. In some cases, that’s okay. 

*** Now that you have started reading, I’ll warn you that this article won’t be for everyone.

We have a whole generation of people that are entering the workforce, that have been told it’s ok to be mediocre. That it’s ok to get a medal when you participate. To just show up. Or don’t… it doesn’t matter because the whole team gets a ribbon anyway. We did this to ourselves. We are effectively killing resiliency in our workforce, and likely in our society. At some point, business will punch you in the face. Even Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

And then suddenly people have real jobs that start to punch them in the mouth. There is no medal for simply showing up to work on time. It takes real work and actual accomplishments to get rewarded and acknowledged. And we wonder why… when a staff member gets reprimanded for a poor performance, we see them shut down because they missed their goal, why do they just go off and quit? Why don’t they persevere through?

Because we live in an internet-based, Google-centric, microwave society. This has trained millions of people that it only takes 3 seconds to return a wealth of information (Google), and in under a minute you can cook a meal. Nothing worth having should take much longer than that right?


Resiliency takes time. To get anything of value accomplished in business, it takes action and it takes you as a leader putting in an effort. It takes training. Training of other people – your staff. They all have different needs, different learning styles, and different levels of expertise. To get people onto the same page and moving in sync, that also takes time. AND – it takes you as a leader demonstrating resiliency.

Leaders need to be challenging, forward-thinking, open to new ideas, and innovative and they should encourage these things in others. There should be just enough risk involved that you can get the rush once you start to push through. And, winning in business takes you pushing through to the point that when you feel you CAN’T you are resilient enough to tell yourself that you MUST. Not that you, “will do something…” or you, “want to do something…” but, that you, “MUST do something.” A MUST is the wild arm swing back at Tyson, before your back hits the ropes, and just managing to land that light left jab. It may not be the knockout punch, but it still feels good to know you clipped something. And at least you took the swing.

A MUST carries much more weight. MUSTS are the cornerstone of being resilient and getting the job done. 

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