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Leadership Learning

3 Powerful Keys to build a Resilient Mindset

4 min read

Let me begin by stating the obvious- these are tough times that we are in. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, virtually all of us have been affected in some way or the other. Especially the retail sector, with all the chaos with panic buying, multiple stores closing, several jobs lost. For an industry that was already under the pump, the impacts through COVID-19 have been sudden and significant, and are sure to alter its landscape.

One of the things that we need to find right now is resilience, lots of it. This applies to businesses as well as individuals. While these are challenging times, these aren’t unprecedented. Over time, there have been several developments that have disrupted and impacted the retail industry- the evolution of e-commerce, a shift in buyer behaviour due to readily available information, changing business and delivery models, the emergence of aggregators, and so on. No doubt, the pandemic has put us all out of our comfort zone, and rapidly at that. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve been there.

Herein lies a point of choice for us- so we let events run their course and hope to restart things once the dust has settled, or do we look at this as an opportunity to shape our path forward, work out the ‘new normal’? Individuals and businesses that focus on the latter tend to thrive better than others. This would hold true for any event, not just for the current climate.

What enables us to be resilient is our mindset- one of the most powerful tools we can leverage. So how can we shape the mindset that makes us resilient? In this article, I share three fundamental, yet powerful keys that build a resilient mindset. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Connect with your purpose

Our purpose gives us the drive and passion for keeping doing what we do. I often use this analogy- Our purpose is like the spark plug of a lawnmower. Think of what a mower does; it does a fantastic job of cutting grass and keeping our lawns clean. For a mower to work, it needs one thing- a spark plug. Without it, it wouldn’t even start, forget operating. That’s what our purpose does- it gives us a spark. It energises us and gives a reason to do what we do.

Not just that, our purpose gives meaning to what we do. When we are clear with that meaning, the tough times don’t matter. Because we have the bigger picture in mind, and we are passionate enough to pursue it, regardless of the obstacles. Too often, people struggle to connect with the purpose of what they do. So when things become tricky, they lack the bigger picture that inspires them to keep going. Here’s something to think about how clear are you with the purpose of what you do? What meaning does it have for you?

I recently interacted with a manager at a local Coles store. I asked how he and his staff were doing with all the chaos and panic buying etc. His reply was “I am fine, I just want to make sure that my staff is doing ok at all times, not just now.” For him, that was what mattered. That was his purpose- to look after his staff, and that kept him going.

Tough times phase out eventually, but your purpose remains. By staying connected to your purpose, you tend to find a way forward; you become resilient.

Shifting your perspective

When you look at a glass of water filled half with water, do you think “Glass half full” or “Glass half empty”? Depending on how you look at it, that’s your perspective. Your perspective is a reflection of your outlook on anything. Sometimes, shifting your perspective can help you look at things at a different light. Holding onto a view can often limit our thinking and how we see things. If we are willing to shift our perspective, it opens up our thinking, we get different ideas, and things may not seem so bad after all.

A great way to shift your perspective is to show gratitude for the things you have, rather than mourn what is lacking—focusing on things like having good health and staying safe. Concentrate on the job that we have, being able to be of service to customers (who are stressed too), and so much more. So here’s your chance to reflect- how can you shift your perspective towards the events happening around you? What can you be grateful for?

Accept and act

Quite often, we go through a problem or a difficult phase without really acknowledging it. That can often be a cause of denial, as we try and hold onto a rosier interpretation of things. Now, there is nothing wrong with being positive. I am also not advocating that we keep painting a negative picture constantly. However, it’s important that we acknowledge things as they are, and be willing to look at the full picture.

Acknowledging a situation helps us appreciate what we’re faced with, and act accordingly. That often can be a key to avoid panic stations and finding ourselves in a position where we are forced to take action, rather than having a choice. I trust that you find the above keys insightful.

Whatever role you play in your organisation, remember that your resilience can be a gift to not just yourself, but others as well. Because resilience can inspire you, guide you, help you thrive in times when everything seems complicated. Please take care, and importantly, stay safe