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Cultivating Resilience for Leadership Success

Do People Feel Like They Fit in Your Organization


No matter what you do, things won't always go as planned. It's what you do with the circumstances you have, with the unexpected variables that you couldn't possibly have anticipated. It's what you do with those that determines your success in the long run.

Being resilient really helps, being resilient means that you can bounce back quickly from a failure. It means that you can be nimble enough to adjust when something unexpected happens. It means that you'll make the most of the situation, whatever the situation might be. When it comes to working with people. Resilience means not giving up on them, at least not prematurely. Maybe that new hire isn't a fast learner the way you thought they would be based on the interview. Maybe what you heard during the interview isn't quite what they meant when they told you about the skills and capabilities and experience that they had.

Don't give up on that individual.

Or maybe it's a long tenured employee who's going through some tough times. Don't give up. What are some ways that you can help that individual develop their own resilience as they get through the tough time, the learning curve or whatever might be the issue? And what are some ways that you can adjust your expectations to still get the most from this individual? It may require a little creativity. It certainly will require some trust and some faith.

But isn't this what it's all about? Investing in people, giving them a little bit of grace, letting them know that you have faith in them so that they will not give up either? It's hard to move people out of an organization, and that should never be your first choice. Try first to work with people and help them reach their full potential, even if that potential isn't exactly what you envisioned. I'm a big believer in the saying, "if at first you don't succeed, try try again", and in the saying, "where there's a will, there's a way ".

You've been listening to me talk about our straw bale gardens and our property and our, oh, transitional phase from living 15 years in California in the city, to moving to a rural property just a few years ago. One of the things we had forgotten about when we lived in the city in California was just how vicious the biting bugs in Missouri can be, the mosquitoes and the chiggers. Oh, and then there are the ticks, which can be really, really bad for you.

So the first few months of living here, we fought those bugs. We used all sorts of sprays and we inspected each other every time we came indoors, my husband and I, and it was tedious. It was really a buzz kill. But then we found the bug baffler. This is a head to toe suit of mesh and bugs can't get inside. When we wear our bug bafflers early in the morning, early in the evening, the times when the bugs like to be outdoors, well, they just can't bite us.

And since then, we've learned some other tricks, too, like we've built a house for bats and we have another one for martins, those two different animals. They really, really like mosquitoes. And so they've become the mosquito patrol around here. And we don't have nearly as many biting bugs as we used to. But we were resilient, we didn't give up. We wanted to be out there. So we figured out ways to make that more possible, more user friendly for us.

My plants in the straw bale garden, you know, they're pretty resilient, too. But there are some things they simply can't overcome and that I can't solve for them. Over here on the right hand side, you see my whole entire crop of radishes for 2020. That's about a third of what I got last year. And they're pretty small. But the problem is that we had a very strange season. It was quite warm in April, way too cool in the beginning of May.

And then suddenly it was just like August, the heat was was quite overwhelming for these spring plants.

So I picked what I could, I used what I had, and I know that there's not a thing I could have done differently, so I simply planted something else in that space, beans that I knew would handle the heat a little better than the radishes did. My fennel last year had a similar situation. It was, and that's what you see in the middle there, I use fennel and spaghetti sauce and salads and lots of other ways, and I like to use the tops of the fennel as well as the root that grows under ground.

But last year, my fennel, the tops were getting munched on by something I never did figure out for certain what it was, but something found that fennel to be every bit as tasty as I think it is. And my plants were really having a hard time. They were resilient, I was still able to get the fennel bulbs at the end of the season, but I had to figure out something new this year. And so I've got netting over the fennel now so that nothing can get to it.

You have to be creative. Part of being resilient is that you'll bounce back and that you'll find ways to overcome the problems, whatever they might be.

Here's another victim of the heat wave we've had this year. It's my broccoli and it hasn't started to give me a head on that broccoli yet. Maybe it won't, depends on what the weather will do. But I'm in wait and see mode. I want to give the broccoli every possible chance to grow. So I'm keeping it as cool as I can. I'm watering it, giving it a little extra love and plenty of compost and nutrition with the brussel sprouts.

I was able to move them. I transplanted them out of the straw bales and into a container that I could pull into a fully shaded area. So I have high hopes that they're still going to bounce back. You know, my okra and my beans, they're coming in way earlier than they have in years past. I think that's because of the heat. And what I'm learning as I'm trying new things is that you have to go with the flow.

Sometimes part of being resilient is knowing that you can't control everything. That's hard for me. I might be a little bit of a control freak, but if I can use whatever it is I have to work with, I'll be okay in the long run. It might not be exactly the way I planned it to be, but it will still be good.