Humility – this may seem a surprising one but it concerns how strongly one values modesty about personal achievements. Individuals with low humility scores desire praise and recognition for their unique work and abilities, and are therefore more vulnerable when they do not receive it. They can perceive slight when it is not intended and expend considerable energy in processing how their part in a situation is being perceived rather than in tackling the situation itself. Those with high scores can remain resilient and productive even when they do not receive constant recognition. They are, in fact, just more likely to persevere.
- Determination – this is the attractive notion of ‘grit’, ‘steel’ or other hard things. It includes courage and a willingness to take intelligent risks. Individuals scoring highly here will be comfortable with taking big decisions and with the ultimate ownership and accountability for those decisions. Unchecked by the characteristics described above it may be temporarily attractive but ultimately dangerous.
Those possessed in high measure of all these competencies will stand in front of team members never to take praise but always to take a bullet. They will balance adroitly the benefits and experience of productive failure and success – the highs and lows. In “The Failure-Tolerant Leader,” Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes argue for creating an environment in which both setbacks and successes are treated as positive learning experiences. The attendant fear or anxiety that ‘mistakes’ or ‘failure’ induce is reduced and the encouragement and freedom to try new things, examine alternatives and ask for input, rather than drown alone, are increased. In this way, resilience becomes part of the organisation’s, as well as the individual’s core.
(1) Tough at the Top, Sarah Bond and Dr. Gillian Shapiro, 2014
(2) The Failure-Tolerant Leader, Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, 2002