16 Strategies To Become A More Resilient Leader

Council Members

Mar 10, 2022

In business, as in life, resilience is essential to leading a successful one. Overcoming obstacles and thriving in a business leadership role takes a winning combination of strength and strategy...

16 Strategies To Become A More Resilient Leader


In business, as in life, resilience is essential to leading a successful one. Overcoming obstacles and thriving in a business leadership role takes a winning combination of strength and strategy, which all good leaders must possess in order to bounce back from challenges quickly and remain stable and steady.


Every business leader is bound to make their fair share mistakes, of course. The key is to give yourself room to grow, learn and evolve after a setback or a misstep. Here, 16 members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss effective strategies leaders can adopt to boost their resilience.




1. Learn A Lesson When You Make A Mistake

As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us does make us stronger.” There is always a lesson to be learned when we fall down or misstep. Be optimistic about the lesson and realize that it’s not about whether the glass is half full or half empty but that we can fill it up. Mistakes happen, errors happen, loss happens—great. What did you learn from it? The strategy is to get up and keep going. There is always another path, period. - Shelley Smith, Premier Rapport


2. Take Time To Indulge Yourself

The majority of leaders I’ve met could increase their resilience by taking a little more time to indulge themselves. Stated differently, if you’re not taking care of yourself, then how can you take care of, mentor and make space for others on your team? I recommend a 30-minute activity that’s purely for the leader’s well-being once per week. - Melanie Espeland, Espeland Enterprises


3. Have An Open Mind

Being a leader requires you to understand life, knowing that, in general, many things will not go your way. Accept failure as your best friend, learn to go with the flow, and never give up on yourself while gaining the patience to understand others’ abilities to learn at their pace. To be resilient, you must have an open mind toward change and adapt to all types of cultures and people. - Able Wanamakok, FInd Your Voice Asia


4. Learn From Your Range Of Experiences

Be intentional about learning from the range of your experiences, from risks and experiments to opportunities and successes. Embracing learning enables us to better manage setbacks so that we emerge from difficulty stronger, wiser and more resourced for whatever faces us in the future. It also allows us to move forward with a new viewpoint, and even different values gained from the experience. - Palena Neale, unabridged


5. Change Your Perspective About Problems

One strategy a leader can adopt in becoming more resilient is to change their perspective about problems. However, the game changer is not seeing the problem as insurmountable. How a leader interprets and responds to issues is what a leader has power over. Looking beyond the immediate problem and projecting into the future will help make informed decisions and help build resilience. - Oluwashogo Oyeniyi, Dr Shogo Consulting




6. Be Present For Distressing Emotions Being present for distressing emotions, accepting them instead of resisting them, and turning kindness toward yourself during difficult times is key to resilience. A practical tip to achieve this is to ask, “What would a good friend who cares about me deeply tell me right now?” - Madhu Jeyakumaran, Think Stride Coaching and Consulting

7. Vocally Adopt A ‘Test And Learn’ Mindset Leaders can become more resilient by adopting a “test and learn” mindset and by being vocal about adopting this mindset (thus serving as a role model). If we operate from the perspective that most tactics are experimental, then “negative” outcomes are less painful—rather, they become either disproven hypotheses or indicators that conditions could be tweaked to experiment again. - Kayla Cartwright,ADAPTOVATE

8. Develop And Master Emotional Intelligence Leaders can become more resilient by further developing and mastering emotional intelligence. This mastery comes with introspection, solicitation of feedback and our commitment to growth. - Stacy Soria, Gladegy Consulting, LLC

9. Reframe Obstacles As ‘Stepping Stones’ This is the most effective resilience strategy I’ve ever used: First of all, identify your North Star (a.k.a. your mission and purpose in life—your big-picture goals). Then reverse-engineer the steps that lead to these big-picture goals and reframe obstacles as “stepping stones” that bring you closer to your goals. Finally, express gratitude daily for each stepping stone that you’ve found. - Katie McIntyre, Career Sprout

10. Sleep Well, Eat Well And Exercise Well It is so much easier to feel resilient when our bodies are in a balanced state. Take care to sleep well, eat well and exercise well so that your body and brain can confront challenges with calmness and clarity. When we feel strong and rested, we are more resilient. - Michele Cohen, Lead to Growth Coaching

11. Be Aware Of What Triggers You Every day, work on bringing your awareness to how you’re thinking and feeling, particularly in moments of intensity. Notice how your manner and behavior shift and how your body responds physically to different situations. Understand what triggers you. The better you know yourself, the better you’re able to first preempt and then control your emotions and behaviors in challenging situations. - Gary Crotaz, Gary Crotaz Ltd.

12. Overcome Fears And Establish Self-Assurance Individual resilience develops when fears are overcome and your self-assurance is established. Flexibility, emotional stability and self-efficacy are key—in other words, head, heart and gut. If any one of these is underdeveloped, the likelihood of the individual showing enhanced resilience is diminished. These factors serve to help one overcome fear and allow the leader to have a winning attitude! - James Hotaling, N2Growth

13. Focus On Intrinsic Driving Forces Intrinsic motivation will always last longer than waiting for external drivers to “motivate you.” If you’re motivated from within and have a driving force, you are going to become more resilient. You will not even give it a second thought; you will simply “go for it!” The energy spent questioning whether you should or should not do something can be used instead to execute. - Jasmin Manke, Jasmin Manke LLC

14. Remind Yourself That Business Is A Game Remind yourself that business—all business—is just a game. It’s a complex social game not unlike the games we made up as kids on the playground. There are “good guys” and “bad guys” who make transactions based on currencies no less arbitrary than marbles or Pogs. Everyone is looking to better their position, and most know the best way to do that is to play by the rules. So play the game. - Corrie Block,Paragon Consulting FZE

15. Take A Step Back And Breathe Putting some distance between you and the issue that lies in your path allows you to see the bigger picture and assess various approaches to overcoming it. Taking a breath before acting clears your head, prevents you from responding automatically and enables you to think things through. Once your head is clear, and your path forward is identified, then act. - Dennis Kight, it works! LLC

16. Develop Emotional Intelligence Developing emotional intelligence and becoming aware of how you react to triggers can save a lot of energy and help you remain resilient. Remind yourself that everything is neutral until you give it meaning, and that the choice to react or not to react to something is always yours. Separate yourself from the emotion by practicing mindfulness, and balance your work with exercise and time in nature. - Masha Malka, The One Minute Coach Corp. To learn more about Find Your Voice Asia or to book a consultation, please email: Able@findyourvoice.asia.


For Able's Journals, please visit: https://www.findyourvoice.asia/blog.