• Jacki Rowles

Too much resilience is a bad thing (for leaders and employees)

Most of our corporate leaders aren’t (leaders). They’re too resilient.

I think of the new skills required in the new world or Robots, Restructures and Retrenchment as muscles that we have but haven’t worked out. Muscles like mindfulness, emotional intelligence and resilience. Can we overdo it though? This research from Manpower and Russell Reynolds is compelling; those who climb the corporate ladder best are “gritty” and highly resilient (too much so). The authors talk about these leaders as having the resilience muscle contracted all the time because they’re always being tested in tough or adversarial situations. The resilience muscle (like all others) should be worked out when required and allowed to relax and recover when not. Research shows an overused strength becomes a weakness. Two things are happening:

  1. These over resilient leaders are not self-aware and don’t have realistic views of their skills (they think they’re better than they are) and hence no need to alter their inter-personal skills.

  2. Their staff think these leaders are the worst part of their job (75% of American’s think so and 65% would take a pay cut to replace their boss). But. These staff are also over using the resilience muscle to deal with the adversity of their boss.

Resilience is good yes but not by itself. If we don’t address over-resilience at work – our businesses won’t be able to change fast enough and we’ll all burn out. Read the full article here.


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