As we look out to 2019 and beyond, and we focus on the demands being placed on us as leaders, on our people in our organizations and on our communities, we can sense that there is a storm coming. “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” As quoted from Howard Ruff.
This past year, we nudged our Leaders in the PEO Community to become Resilient and to succeed in business and in life – to be able to adapt well to volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and adversity. We reinforced our thoughts that Resilience is not an innate characteristic but rather something that one can learn.
And learn we did, as a Leadership Community over the last year. Here are a few insights many of our Leaders took away.
We live in a world where the majority of us are continuously alligator fighting! Professor Richard Jolly, who spoke at our 2018 PEO Leadership Conference, put forth his theory that we all suffer from what he refers to as “Hurry Sickness”. Not sure if you have that ailment? Let’s take the abbreviated test:
- Do you check your mobile phone multiple times an hour?
- Does it really irritate you at how long it takes to boot up your computer?
- Do you find numerous other things that need your attention and immediate action while engaging in a telephone conference call at work?
- Do you eat at your desk while also checking your emails?
- Do you find that focusing on simply brushing your teeth is absolutely ridiculous? Instead, are you reading and/or messaging at the same time on your mobile device?
- And my favorite – Do you find yourself pushing the close door button multiple times while stepping on the elevator?
We can all laugh at our responses to the above, but in fact, if you answered yes to a number of those questions, have you not lost perspective on what’s really important. Are you fighting the alligators or focused on the bigger picture of actually trying to drain the swamp? Professor Richard Jolly was absolutely brilliant in pointing out the obvious and making it quite evident that many of us have become so distracted that we’ve lost our way in understanding what really matters.
If you really want to start building your own Resilience, here are a few ideas to consider as you contemplate your New Year’s Resolutions:
1) Reflect on what really matters most to you and allows you to feel satisfied, if not happy. Think about those that will leave us and our world in 2019, and the regrets in their lives they may be pondering. As it has been said many times, I doubt anyone recalls hearing someone say they wish they worked longer and harder. Below are some of the more common people regrets when they are dying:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
2) Take time daily to focus on what you can control and what you can do to create a positive day. Include some type of meditation practice at work to get you focused relaxed and prepared for what’s ahead of you.
3) Celebrate your achievements, and those of your people, rather than focusing on what’s gone wrong.
4) Make the time to spend quality time with your friends, family and community. If they are really true friends, you’ll feel re-energized from the time you spend together.
5) Put away your phone when you’re in a meeting, with family and/or friends. Reading emails, texts and/or taking calls at those times says a lot about what you think about the people who are in front of you. Our brains are still not really wired for multi-tasking and those sitting in front of you aren’t impressed with your behavior if you’re on your mobile device while speaking with them.
As the saying goes “Sometimes you need to take the time to reflect, re-energize and reset to accelerate successfully toward your life goals“. These five points are just a small sample of elements to start your journey to becoming more Resilient. They focus on slowing things down and allowing you to focus, re-energize and positively influence those around you. They are very simple yet tricky to implement. I hope they will assist you in getting your mind in the right framework and thereby provide you with the Resilience that will allow you to deal with the complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and volatility that we will face in 2019 and beyond.
Wishing you all a Healthy, Happy New Year!