When you’re trying to drive change in your organization, two personal factors greatly contribute to your success: resilience and mental toughness. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and stay calm in the storm. Did you know that surfer Bethany Hamilton was back on her board a mere 28 days after her shark attack? Resiliency!
Mental toughness, on the other hand, is a persistence: the ability embrace uncertainty and discomfort while negotiating the way forward. As a change leader, you’re tasked with negotiating the way forward to achieve your strategic plan, whether it’s more profits, more efficiency, or a completely new line of business. And often that is one small action at a time.
“You must build up your life action by action, and be content if each one achieves its goal as far as possible–and no one can keep you from this. But there will be some external obstacle! Perhaps, but no obstacle to acting with justice, self-control, and wisdom. But what if some other area of my action is thwarted? Well, gladly accept the obstacle for what it is and shift your attention to what is given, and another action will immediately take its place, one that better fits the life you are building.” — Marcus Aurelius
To lead change in your organization, you need a plan – both for your organization and for yourself. With 75% of change efforts not achieving their intended benefits, anything that you can do to increase your odds of success are critical. How to build mental toughness? We often think that these responses are hardwired, but fortunately this is not the case. The Stoics discovered that thinking of challenges as tests of character dramatically changes how we respond to setbacks emotionally. How to build resiliency? Rick Hanson gives great examples of how to grow an unshakable core of calm, strength and happiness.