8 Qualities of Highly Resilient Leaders


Nelson Mandela famously quoted

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”


We like to think that we can quickly recover or bounce back from adversity and in most instances we all can.

However some leaders can bounce back each time without a pause in their step while others find it difficult to recover.

The role of leadership by its nature is to manage a changing and challenging environment on a day to day basis and so the inability to bounce back will constrain a leader’s ability drive and manage change. Change arouses emotions both positive as much as negative, and when emotions intensify it requires a strong and resilient leader to manage it.

When confronted by adversity, challenges or disappointment resilience is the skill that sets good leaders apart from exceptional leaders.

What does it look like in leadership?

In the face of difficulty, resilient leaders confidently seek solution. They approach decisions purposefully, engaging others in the process. They handle difficulties with purpose and rise to the situation as required. They tend not blame others or become victims of the situation themselves.

They actively take care of themselves, their overall health and encourage others to do the same. They foster friendships and network positively to support and be supported. They can identify, develop and gather their resources around them.

They have a high self-confidence and self-esteem. They do not rely on others approval or reassurance. Their strength comes from within to act and they have a strong comfort level with their own abilities. These leaders have a strong internal focus and control. ‘If it is to be, it is up to me”.

They possess flexible minds. Their ideas are not fixed and are ready willing and able to adapt to new and challenging situations.

They own their own mistakes and don’t look for others to blame. They learn from bad decisions, they recover faster and emerge stronger.

They focus on developing others as leaders and enjoy seeing leadership growth visibly occurring. Their support (or lack of it) for others is not based on a threat to their own leadership capabilities.

They are committed and passionate about what they are doing. Their purpose in the workplace is clear and also transparent for others. They demonstrate a consistent style of leadership in all situations both professionally and personally. Their style of leadership is their being.

They are reflective and see feedback as a chance to view themselves from others perspective and a chance to improve. If others are required to seek feedback on their performance then so will they.

Have I left anything out? Would love to hear your thoughts.



Career Coaching, Leadership