MODULE 5 OF GROWTH FACULTY’S EMERGING LEADERS PROGRAM WITH KYLEE STONE
According to the National Index Report on Resilience, 9 out of 10 Australians lack a healthy level of resilience, and are vulnerable to stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep or ill health.
If you have indulged in emotional eating, lacked the motivation to exercise, been too stressed to sleep, used alcohol to relax or spent money on things you didn’t really need then it’s likely you fall into this category.
“Resilience is a skill that helps people to take actions that support their health and wellbeing so they can fulfil their potential” says Kylee Stone.
This week Kylee helped participants of our Emerging Leaders Program understand how resilience can help them address the challenges that come with being a leader, such as stepping into leadership for the first time, leading a hybrid team, navigating economic challenges, leading a new team or managing significant change.
Over 90 minutes, Kylee taught over 1,100 participants strategies to:
- Bounce back from setbacks and see failures as an opportunity to learn and grow
- Develop a calm mind and remain focused when dealing with difficult situations
- Enhance their emotional agility and mental resilience to access a growth mindset
- Improve their perception of stress as a helpful way to enhance performance
What is resilience?
When we talk about resilience, Positive Psychology APA says “The capacity to remain flexible in your thoughts, feelings and behaviours when faced with disruption or pressure, so you can emerge stronger and wiser.” This includes being able to respond quickly to big and small challenges and to positively advance despite adversity.
For leaders, building resilience in self is is just part of the process. Leaders are also responsible for building resilience in the people they lead.
Resilience is the third pillar in the foundations of leadership and includes skills like mindfulness, emotional intelligence, emotional agility, mental resilience, grit and perseverance.
Common misconceptions about resilience shared by participants:
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
- Good leaders just push through
- This is just the way it always is
- You have to be physically strong to be resilient
- Resilience only comes from facing adversity
- Resilience is the norm
- The harder you work the more resilience you develop
- You’re a wuss if you’re not resilient
- You either have it or you don’t
- Resilient people don’t need help and never get stressed
People who practice resilience are more likely to respond quickly end effectively, manage multiple deadlines, navigate difficult conversations and scenarios with ease and move forward with a positive outlook.
7 Measurable Benefits of Resilience
- A strong sense of purpose
- Living with happiness and vitality
- Feeling calm, centered and in control during a crisis
- Ability to stick to a healthy lifestyle
- Connected, close and intimate relationships
- Positive and constructive outlook on life, despite what is going on in the world
- Achieving goals and maintaining momentum
Using their session workbook (see bottom of page), participants calculated their own level of resilience, coming out with an average 6.3/10.
The Impact of Resilience on Leadership
No matter how well we prepare, when put into practice, predictability is almost impossible.
A single action, impulse or event can trigger other activities outside of our control, creating a system of complexity that is difficult to navigate.
Kylee asked participants how this impact their leadership, and responses included:
- Realising leadership is not a single action
- Accepting you can’t control other people
- Understanding how your actions or decisions can impact others
- Not expecting the same response to your words or actions from everyone in your team
- Recognising that small errors can have a significant impact on someone with less resilience than yourself
- Remembering that ‘life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it’
6 Factors that Determine Your Level of Resilience
Using the PR6 framework – an advanced, science-based resilience psychometric, Kylee gave our emerging leaders six areas to focus on to develop their resilience.
- Vision – think clearly about or plan the future with wisdom. During the very first session of the Emerging Leaders Program “The Foundations of Leadership” our participants created their own vision statements to solve big problems, make a difference, unleash human potential, improve the world, impact climate change (or some other cause).
- Health – taking care of our mental and physical state, remembering that “we are what we eat”, “the body keeps score” and “disease come from diss-ease”. Strategies include:
- Food helps the brain produce serotonin, our happy hormone – try removing, reducing or replacing sugar
- Movement increases dopamine helping you feel good – try moving your body before work hours for improved focus
- A regular sleep schedule or micro-sleeps to reduce cortisol (stress hormones)
- Here are 7 other healthy habits for leaders from Steve Grace, the CEO of work-life balance publication Balance the Grind.
- Tenacity – Grit, determination, realistic optimism and perseverance. Quoting Einstein “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer”, Kylee emphasised three key strategies for improving your own tenacity, as well as that of your teams:
- Build a morning routine – read how Arpita Patel used techniques from James Clear’s Atomic Habits to change her night-owl identity and become a morning person
- Leverage scheduling to set your day, week, month up for success and set time aside for critical tasks, thinking and reflection
- Write a list of things you will stop doing, demonstrate self-care and know when “no means no”
- Reasoning – The action of thinking in a logical, sensible way, and understanding and being clear on your reasons for doing things. Strategies for reasoning include:
- Deciding not to decide right away
- Changing your media habits and managing your environment
- Upskilling – be curious about where your gaps are, identify areas where you can learn and grow
- Collaboration – Working with others to produce an outcome. ELP participants will dive further into area in week six of the program “Communication – The Foundation of High-Performing Teams”. Ideas to improve collaboration:
- Get a mentor who will support you on your growth journey
- Ask for help and accept help when it’s offered!
- Offer help to others, you’ll be surprised by what you already know that is of value to someone else
- Composure – Learning to be centered and in control in any situation. Leadership is unpredictable, so mastering composure is critical. These strategies will help leaders keep calm, focused and present despite difficult situations:
- Calm breathing, try the box breathing technique before meetings to improve clarity and calmness
- Practice mindfulness - the ability to be present, stay focused and observe a situation without judgement
- Emotional agility – embracing emotions and reframing stress as a helpful way to improve performance. Being effective with your thoughts and emotions so you can make decisions based on your values and intentions, instead of automatically reacting.
Kylee Stone’s Top Mindfulness Practices:
- Dancing or doing an activity away from your desk. Tip: At Growth Faculty, we are fans of a 3-4 minute team plank in the afternoons!
- Mindful eating, taking time to eat slow and enjoy your meal
- 5 minutes of controlled breathing between meetings
- Mindful listening – accepting that you have nothing to add to a conversation, giving the other person your undivided attention leaves them feeling of being valued and listened to – a critical tool in the Emerging Leaders toolkit!
For more ideas for building resilience and practicing mindfulness, try these tips from The Mindful High Performer author, Chelsea Pottenger.
About Kylee Stone
Kylee is descendant of the stolen generations of the Wakka Wakka and Kulluli nations. She is CEO of The Performance Code, is a highly regarded leadership coach, and she has proven results as an entrepreneurial leader in her own right with decades of experience in the business of storytelling, Marketing, Strategy and Leadership Transformation.
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- Kylee Stone Masterclass, naming sources as Harvard Business Review: Economist Intellignce Unit; McKinsey & Co; NextGenify respectively.