re·sil·ience\ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\ noun: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful after misfortune or disruptive change
Several terms come to mind when I think of “resilience.”
All of these words apply to the human desire to affect our own destiny and to make the world a better place. In short, to make a positive difference.
Life circumstances, which we may or may not choose, contribute to our sense of resilience and also draw upon it.
Resilient people are:
• optimistic and efficacious. That is, they are hopeful about the future and believe that they can make a difference.
• intentional and proactive. That is, they have clear goals and realistic plans to achieve them.
• engaged and influential. That is, they persist until goals are achieved, and they enlist others in concerted actions.
Taken together, these qualities explain why resilient people often find themselves in leadership roles even though they may not have actively sought them out.
Resilient leaders create resilient organizations, and the primary way they do so is by creating a sense of “collective efficacy”– a belief that the achievement of important goals requires strong teamwork.
Collective efficacy begins with a worthy, stretching goal and draws on the interpersonal support provided by a community whose members encourage, guide, and teach one another.
Collective efficacy is especially important today because it is easy to succumb to resignation in the face of complex and overwhelming world problems, like climate change, and the serious challenges to democratic institutions and civil liberties that we currently face.
Future posts will explore ways to cultivate resilience for our personal benefit and our collective good.
As always, I am interested in what you have to say today and in the future about this critically important subject.