Sudden Change

April 1, 2007

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Resiliency is the ability to recover from sudden changes or hardships. When you recover from adversity, you must adapt successfully to the change.

Sound familiar? Some of the most ridiculous things happen at our meetings and events. Over and over again, we, the resilient leader, steps in—without hesitation—to correct a situation and immediately adapt to the change while simultaneously demonstrating optimism, durability and flexibility. Non-resilient planners are defensive, exhausted, burned out, cynical, and have difficulty adapting to the sudden changes at events. Have you seen any?

Resiliency is not a nice skill to have, but a must-have for leaders. In a world of changing businesses, bosses and rules, the basic principles of resilience are critical for operating in a whirlwind of change.

Acceptance Of Change

Change is constant—we hear this phrase all of the time—and to many the word evokes the feeling of fear. Why? We may lose control. We may feel uncomfortable because we do not want to admit a weakness. After all, we have been successful for so long, so it is easier to ignore the way in which we operate rather than looking at ourselves to improve. Resilient leaders accept change and adapt. If you are uncomfortable with change, seek out new challenges that will stretch your skills. Also, take a serious look at what changes you can control within your organization. The changes you cannot control (i.e., downsizing) require you to control your emotions.

Continuous Learning

Acquiring new skills and improving upon our old skills are at the heart of resiliency. There is great comfort and security with being familiar with your old self. But if you do not improve your old skills, the odds increase that you will feel less competent during a challenging situation. Take a look at a success during the past year. Resilient leaders draw on past experiences.


A key to creating your future is taking charge of yourself. Self-empowerment enables you to take charge of your emotions and behaviors despite what is going on around you. Do you know what your strengths are? Are you challenging yourself by developing new skills? Resilient individuals are always analyzing their strengths.

Sense of Purpose

Being resilient is understanding what your most important value is. What do you do at work and at home that reflects this value? A sense of purpose signifies a direction you are going in, your aspirations, motivation and persistence. A resilient leader’s confidence is directly related to their sense of purpose.

Personal Identity

Self-branding, or your personal identity, is about building and maintaining your name and reputation. Positive words and actions will protect your reputation while negative choices will hurt your image and your family name. The core value supporting your personal identity is the representation of a group first—your family or your company—followed by your individual or personal brand. What people say about you really matters. It is very difficult to achieve your goals with a tarnished reputation. How many of your colleagues will do business with you if they do not trust you?

Reputation is about earning credibility, not expecting it. You must work hard at building credibility so others are confident about doing business with you. One way to earn credibility is to keep your promises. Another way to earn credibility is honesty. Resilient leaders know that their decisions reflect on many brands. These brands include family name, reputation, the company, and the industry. Your self-brand will sell naturally, so make your brand work for you. So what does your personal logo look like? What is your personal metaphor?

A generic silhouette of a person.
About the author
Michele Wierzgac