If only we could control every aspect of our lives and things always went our way. If only!
We all know we cannot assume everything will work out our way every single time. As a way of mitigating problems, good leaders plan for and anticipate challenges. But even when we do that, the answer may still be no, and the outcome may be different than what we expect. However, when life throws something awful at us, and we land on our feet, that’s called resilience. Leadership demands resiliency. To be resilient we must be flexible. Leaders must master both to secure success.
During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (my homeland), I witnessed first-hand human resilience and flexibility at its best. I arrived in Puerto Rico 6 days after the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated the southern part of the island. Only 2 years earlier, Puerto Ricans were hit with a category 4 hurricane. Many people on the island lost loved ones, precious belongings; some, lost everything they have worked for all their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It is not “business as usual” in Puerto Rico. As it is expected, people are living with varying degrees of trauma. Aftershocks are the new normal. And yet, Puerto Ricans are “making lemonade,” as the saying goes. They are courageously leading by forging forward with tourism, business, and life – as best they can.
For leaders, it’s never just about them. It’s about taking care of others, while inspiring everyone around them to keep going; together, as a team, as a company, and in the case of Puerto Rico, as an island.
Let us watch and learn from my people as they put on their “game face” and demonstrate their ability to lead even in the most challenging times; rebuilding with their bare hands, and finding new solutions, while inviting others to join them. Turning a no (or in this case, a situation we cannot control) into a yes or even a maybe, cannot be done alone.
Leaders, let’s continue the conversation. I invite you to share with me and our readers two things you will do (or already do) to practice flexibility and cultivate resilience in yourself and others. I will start. These are the two things I do frequently: I connect with someone who will challenge my views and I also give myself processing time when I get an answer that’s not of my liking.
After all, we know what Puerto Ricans are doing; they are staying positive and looking ahead.
Join me in the dialogue.
Entrevistas y artículos en medios de Puerto Rico:
WAPA TV: El poder de la negociación