Resilience is a strong predictor of success in life. I suspect most of us have been taking a backward approach to building it.
This occurred to me while listening to Bob Quinn speak during the CPO Founders’ Panel session at the Spring 2021 Positive Organizations Consortium Member Forum.
Factors that Buld Positive Organizations
Quinn discussed three factors related to success in life and leaders building positive organizations:
- Emotional Self Regulation
- Higher Purpose
Bob said that resilience is the single strongest predictor of success in life. That resonated with me based on my life’s experience. I’ve nurtured my resilience through endurance sports, long-running projects, and pursuing long-term business goals. By hanging in there over the long haul, even when things get hard, I’d believe I was building my capacity to endure and find success.
However, I’ve observed resilience can falter when challenges are significant, persistent, and multifarious. Once willpower and resilience start to falter, a backward slide can occur as we become less emotionally regulated. We may show frustration and anger. We may get to a low point where we ask, “Why am I even here trying to achieve this goal?”
There is possibly a negative, compounding effect as the backward slide happens. We may drive people away, as they are less likely to be attracted to negativity, frustration, or anger. We then have less ability to inspire others and drive positive change. We can get caught in a deflating loop of frustration.
A Better Path for Sustained, Positive Leadership
Quinn stated recent research shows a better path for sustained, positive leadership. Preliminary analysis of some sophisticated data showed an interesting relationship between the three factors related to success in life.
Higher purpose and resilience are significantly related but only weakly so. The correlation between higher purpose and self-regulation is enormously high. And the correlation between self-regulation and resilience is also very high.
When we focus on our higher purpose, we are more self-regulated, and we increase our capacity for resilience.
Trying to build resilience by being resilient is a backward approach that can make us less effective and lead to burnout.
Have you ever experienced the backward slide during a challenging endeavor? Have you developed and activated a higher purpose that has helped you sustain positive leadership in the face of adversity? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.
You can hear Bob Quinn speak directly on the points above in this YouTube clip.
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