Self-awareness equals resilience (Harvard)

As The Churning breaks for the Christmas holidays we thought we’d end with this recent article from the Harvard Business Review.

In it, bestselling author Ron Carucci of Navalent describes how self-knowledge strengthens our ability to adapt to complex change.

He recommends four ways to build your resilience through deeper self-knowledge:

  1. “Take honest stock of your skills”
    Trust your strengths, even when the situation is difficult.
    Augment your shortfalls with the skills of others.
  2. “Curb misplaced irritability”
    Intense change can be stressful. Don’t take your stress out on other people — it reduces your organisation’s effectiveness.
  3. Push back on unrealistic expectations instead of passing them on
    Push back on bosses and customers when requested goals and timelines don’t make sense. Failing to do so only sets everyone up for failure.
  4. Recognise when you’ve fallen into ambivalence and go back to first principles
    Leaders who switch into auto-pilot cause those around them to lose hope and withdraw effort.

The Churning’s Inner Leadership suggests a different approach that builds not only resilience but also antifragility and the ability to thrive under complex change:

  1. Learn to remain grounded in any situation. Use daily and weekly practices to deepen your self-awareness.
  2. Learn to spot and unravel the mis-interpretations and mis-blinks that create your “misplaced irritability”. Build morale. Strengthen your relationship with your intuition.
  3. Give yourself more options by looking for the ten types of opportunity that exist even in the deepest crisis.
  4. Deepen your self-knowledge and use other tools to choose the best way forward for you.
  5. Uncover your deep purpose and values. Use them to bring you stability and direction in this time of change.
  6. Articulate your chosen way forward in a way that inspires and emotionally engages you and the people around you to want to make it happen.
  7. Improve the effectiveness your implementation by managing not just the actions you take but the emotional and psychological transitions of the people affected by the change.

Taking these actions will bring you not just greater resilience but also the ability to thrive in 2018.

We wish you and all your friends, families, and colleagues a very peaceful and happy Christmas and holiday season. We’ll be back in the New Year.

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Noël Zia Lee via

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