Much is made of the need for creativity, innovation, and speed in the quest to build a successful business and stay on top, but lately the concept of resilience has come to my attention again and again. It started when I interviewed a successful businessman for a book I am writing and we discussed his path to success. As we talked, I realized that he had been incredibly resilient in facing the struggles he encountered throughout his career.
Not long after that interview, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Martin Seligman discuss the practice of positive psychology at the Summit Consulting Group’s Million Dollar Convention in Atlanta. He shared many insights and ideas that I found valuable, but I was particularly struck by his assertion that “resilience is twice as important as talent and IQ.”
When I returned from the conference, I was browsing in Powell’s Books and noticed a book entitled Resilience by Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal. The title caught my attention. In his book he says: “Resilience is a virtue that enables us to move through our hardships and become better. None of us can escape pain, fear or suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, and from suffering can come strength, if we have the virtue of resilience.”
Pain can break us or make us wiser. Suffering can destroy us or make us stronger. Fear can cripple us or make us more courageous. It is resilience that makes the difference.
Tony Robbins states that too many of us are living in a suffering state and the antidote to a suffering state is to quit making it about ourselves. He also says that life is too short to live in a suffering state. We need to break the pattern, we need to be resilient.
In my good friend Sandra Suran’s book The DNA of the Resilient Organization she describes how resilience and sustainable growth within an organization are built from the core. With each problem that is solved or new opportunity that is seized and accomplished, the organization’s core becomes stronger.
In Dr. Seligman’s words, Sandra Suran’s book, and Eric Greitens’s book, the message is unanimous: If we deal with our problems and struggles correctly, they make us not only stronger individuals but stronger organizations. We must learn to honor the struggle because it is part of our journey as individuals and organizations and necessary for real growth.
Resilience is the key to success and a well-lived life. It is not what happens to us that has the greatest impact, but our response to what happens. If we want to be happy, we need resilience. If we want to be successful in business, we need resilience.
If you want to be more resilient in your business and achieve greater success, we can help you. Dramatically improving individual and organizational success is our business.