There are some enlightened businesses out there that pro-actively seek to ensure that the people working for the organisation don’t suffer from over-work and too much stress. Seriously, there are some. However you don’t have to look to hard when you’re in the world of people development to find examples of businesses that, even if they pay lip-service to the well-being of their people, are still inherently designed to extract as much out of their human resource as they can get away with.
Acknowledging this fact means that those in a leadership role should be taking steps to look after themselves and their teams to ensure that the early warning signs of stress overload are not ignored. In doing so they will also be taking care of the organisation’s resilience.
When considering their own resilience along with that of their team and their organisation, leaders might consider the behaviours identified by Everly, Strouse and Everly (2010) as exhibited by resilient leaders:
Acting with integrity
Harnessing the power of optimism and self-fulfilling prophecy
Taking responsibility for their actions
Building a resilient culture
Using stress management as a competitive advantage
The great thing about the six behaviours identified is that they can all be learned and developed and can all be cascaded to other people within the organisation by modelling and training of such behaviours. The more that people are trained in such areas the more they are likely to respond in an effective way when they encounter some form of disruptive situation.
According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Law of the Few” if 20% of an organisation’s workforce can be persuaded to act in a resilient way, a tipping point may be reached after which the rest of the organisation may be ‘tipped’ towards a resilient culture.