The Path of Most Resilience

I’ve noticed that resilience is all the rage. There is a Wall Street Journal article focused on the topic, and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation mentioned resilience in an interview with the New York Times. What’s going on, and how does it tie to our business?  I think the topic deserves some scrutiny, especially since culture and values are such a huge focus of ReviveHealth.

The dictionary defines resilience as “1.) the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity; or 2) the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties is a key success factor in any business venture, in my belief, and it definitely fits right into the mix of the ReviveHealth values – especially “Be Better” and “Be More Than More of the Same.”

It turns out there is an webpage devoted exclusively to billionaires’ quotes about resilience, which should tell us something. My favorite is a quote from Jeff Bezos: “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”  Exactly.

Life in business is trying, and trying sometimes means failing. At ReviveHealth, we joke about Yoda’s quote on “trying,” but the truth is, you have to try new things all the time to grow a business, and you have to try new things personally to grow your career. We encourage people to take calculated risks, and our values are explicit about mistakes being okay (carelessness is not).

One of the key qualities we hope to find in every ReviveHealth professional is resilience, and we look for it in the normal course of business, as well as the extraordinary moments that occasionally pop up – a tight deadline, a crisis to be managed, or a difficult interpersonal situation. We believe resilience is one of the key qualities in a successful senior executive, and it’s a quality we want to pass down to every new employee and every junior and mid-level professional trying to grow in their career.

Sometimes people think a successful firm or a successful executive has navigated life without setbacks. I suspect that’s almost never true. I’ve had my setbacks and always persevered. I was second-in-command of an agency that went through substantial difficulty during the Great Recession, and I emerged from that near-death challenge as a better executive – and that agency’s struggles helped create ReviveHealth as a separate entity while also surviving on its own. Life is always going to deliver challenges, and whether we tackle them with resilience determines the kind of careers we will have.

I’ve adopted a phrase over the past year that I think captures the essence of personal, professional, and organizational resilience that I’ve been using to close just about every internal communication here at ReviveHealth. Feel free to adopt it as your own: Onward and upward.

March 18, 2016
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