Part of our professional development at Up Your Culture is participating in our quarterly book club. We come together and identify one book we’ll collectively read that falls under the umbrella of leadership, culture, or self-improvement. Most recently, we landed on the book I Love it Here by Clint Pulver.
The book discusses entrepreneurship, workplace culture, and leadership while intertwining personal stories from Clint Pulver’s childhood and adult life. In reading the book, it’s striking that successful leaders put forth so much effort to create a culture where people feel welcome, safe, dedicated, and motivated. Sometimes the efforts produce fruit, but sometimes they aren’t fruitful at all.
How to Be A Resilient Leader
Your organization is made up of many unique individuals, and each individual needs unique feedback, empathy, and support. It’s difficult to meet everyone’s needs, particularly when you manage a large group of people.
As a leader, you’re the well that provides the water. Your employees are pitchers, and clients are the cups. It’s up to you to fill every pitcher with enough water so the cups of each client can remain full. Leaders spend so much time investing in their employees to maintain full pitchers that it can be easy to forget to invest in themselves.
So, what happens when you’re met with constant obstacles, and you feel as though your well is going dry?
You must be resilient. A resilient leader is one who can bounce back quickly from resistance. The most common analogy to describe resiliency is the rubber band. A rubber band can be stretched far and wide, but it has the unique ability to return to its original state. If you’re feeling stretched, identify what you need to bounce back and be sure to take action.
- Pulver recommends writing a “to don’t” list. For example, DON’T constantly multitask. Priorities can build up quickly. It’s easy to jump from one half-finished task to the next. Instead, commit to finishing one priority fully before transitioning to another. Your focus will improve, and the quality of your work will be much greater.
- Create a balance between ownership and responsibility. Let your employees take the wheel but monitor their speed. It’s okay and encouraged to delegate. Empower your superstar performers. In successful delegation, “There is still oversight, guidance, and accountability that needs to take place. It’s possible to give your people both while not feeling like you’re losing control.”
- Take things one step at a time. If you think about everything you need to accomplish, it can be stifling. Instead, break things down into meaningful and achievable parts. "If you're facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking." You’ll get there.
- If a rubber band dries out, you can bring it back to life by boiling it in water. Once in a while, it’s okay to recoup a little water from your employee’s pitchers and let it boil for you. Be open and honest with your employees. Let them know you need to take a break. Sharing your needs with them humanizes you and encourages psychological safety in the workplace.
Regardless of the techniques you have in place to bounce back and maintain resiliency, remember the importance of your role. The work you do is meaningful and impactful. Take time to evaluate what you need to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward as a leader.