Gina and I went to see Mad Max last night in 3D at our local Cineworld.  The effects were stunning and had us on the edge of our seats, so relaxing would not be a word I would use to describe the film but I would say it was all about resilience!

This got me thinking about resilience as this is now being talked about as a skill that you can acquire.  So you can do something to increase your own resilience by understanding how your  resilience is drained away.  Research sponsored by Nationwide and Vodafone was carried out by Sarah Bond and Gillian Shapiro who looked into resilience.  Their report Tough at the Top: New rules of resilience for women’s leadership success makes interesting reading.  It found that 90% of male and female employees regard being resilient as a major factor in their career success.  Workplace relationships and office politics were reported as the biggest drain – see chart.

This is where Mad Max comes in to play for me.  Here we had a strong female lead supported by Mad Max – a movie of our times perhaps?  Both characters had to dig deep to continue – where did that strength come from?

Going back to the research when asked where their reserves of resilience came from, 90% said “from myself,” a little over 50% said “from my relationships,” and only 6% of people see their employers helping to build their resilience.

So if organisations are seeking to have engaged employees they must do more to support and build resilience and for people professionals this is critical.  How can we support others if our own resilience levels are at an all time low – I am thinking of situations where there are large scale redundancies, or where managers are under performing in terms of their people handling skills.

A quote to leave you with, Diane Coutu so eloquently explains in her luminous “How Resilience Works”.

“Resilient people possess three characteristics

  • a staunch acceptance of reality
  • a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful and
  • an uncanny ability to improvise.

You can bounce back from hardship with just one or two of these qualities, but you will only be truly resilient with all three. These three characteristics hold true for resilient organizations as well.…   Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air.  Others do not.”

This really resonates with me – I cannot wait for a follow on from Furiosa!