Staying the Course: Resilience

Recently one of my clients, the president of a company about to introduce a product to market that’s taken more than five years and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and certify, was talking with one of the company’s board members, who, before he retired, successfully led a similar effort.

My client asked his board member to what he attributed his success and received the response: “Resilience”.

Resilience is the trait that causes someone to try again after a setback or a failure. It’s the decision to examine what you could have done better and DO it better. It’s believing in yourself enough to stay the course.

Resilience isn’t the same as persistence. Persistence is staying the course. Resilience is having the wisdom and commitment to continue to move toward the goal when you’ve had to alter course.

Sometimes it’s hard to be resilient and “bounce back”. For me, I’ve found it toughest to be resilient when I’m angry with myself or ashamed of a setback. I have to figure out what went wrong, accept responsibility, and get on with it.

Resilience is like happiness … it’s a choice. To stay the course and make your business a success you have to choose to be resilient. And when you make that choice you can look yourself in the mirror and say, “Just call me Gumby.”

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