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7 Actionable Strategies to Build Leadership Resilience

"Obstacles do not block the path, they are the path."

Ryan Holiday


Leadership is about facing challenges head-on. It's a given — obstacles will crop up, decisions might not always pan out, and plans will unravel. Resilience is the ability to adapt to these setbacks, to recover, and to move forward stronger than before. Below, we’ll explore seven practical strategies that build resilience, enabling you to turn these challenges into catalysts for growth.


1. See Things for What They Are

When problems arise, it's crucial to see them clearly. Look at the issue without bias or emotion. Is it as big as it seems? Often, a clear-eyed view can make a solution more apparent.

Action Steps:

  • Practice stating the problem in one sentence to keep it in perspective.

  • Avoid emotional language when describing the issue to yourself or others.

2. Reframe the Challenge

Got a problem? Good. Each one is a chance to improve. Shift your perspective: a problem is just an unanswered question.

Action Steps:

  • Write down the obstacle in simple terms.

  • Brainstorm multiple solutions without judging them.

3. Anticipate and Prepare

Resilient leaders aren't just reactive; they're proactive. They don't just solve problems—they prevent them. Don't wait for the next fire to start, think ahead and plan for potential issues.

Action Steps:

  • At the end of each day, jot down potential 'tomorrow problems'.

  • Make a habit of creating contingency plans.

4. Embrace the Lessons

Every misstep is a chance to learn something new. Got through a tough spot? Great. Take a minute to note what worked (and what didn't).

Action Steps:

  • Keep a ‘lessons learned’ journal and encourage your team to do the same.

  • Share and discuss these learnings with your team regularly.

5. Stay Level-Headed

Keep a cool head when everyone else is losing theirs. Calm is contagious and so is panic. When the heat's on, that's your cue to slow down, not speed up.

Action Steps:

  • Practice deep breathing exercises during stressful times.

  • Build in short, regular breaks to maintain clarity of thought.

6. Look After Yourself

Your health is your wealth, especially when you’re at the helm. Take care of your body and your mind.

Action Steps:

  • Block out time for physical activity, no excuses.

  • Plan your meals; fuel your body right.

  • Stay hydrated.

  • Get the rest you need.

7. Use Your Support Network

No one succeeds alone. Build a strong network for support, advice, and new perspectives.

Action Steps:

  • Join or start a peer group.

  • Seek out a mentor or coach. Or become one.


Implementing these seven strategies won't just help you navigate the current obstacle; they'll steel you for whatever lies ahead. Resilience in leadership isn't about never facing challenges; it's about learning to adapt and thrive amidst them. With each step you take, you're not just moving past difficulties; you're honing a skillset that turns the very concept of an obstacle on its head.


Please click here to see a list of recommended books and further reading on the topic of Resilience, along with my thoughts on why the title I’ve chosen is worth reading. I’m collating them on one page on the website so that each time I write an article or email on a topic, I can add new titles and everything is in one place.

Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time,


PS. A very warm welcome to everyone who’s joined our community in the last few weeks, it’s so good to have you here 👋

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