Resilience: The art of bouncing back

You can’t predict where life will take you or where your career journey will lead you. But you do have control over how you respond and bounce back when life throws you a curve ball. In fact, positive psychologists have a term for this “bouncing back”, they call it resilience.


Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial worries, among others.  Resilience is not a rare ability; in reality, it is found in the average individual and it can be learned and developed by virtually anyone. Resilience should be considered a process, rather than a trait to be had. (Wikipedia)


In this Leadership Lounge episode, we meet Andrew Soren, Leadership coach & Senior Advisor of Leadership Development at BMO. He shares critical information on how we can all become more resilient at work and in life ( with some practical tips we can take action on today):



There are moments in life when things go wrong. Horribly wrong. I remember when I put a $25 million launch at risk and I’ll never forget the feeling of fear + dread+ shame+ anger when I was called into the General Manager’s office to explain the situation. It was a feeling I’d rather not feel again. Ever.

But resilience grew in me a little more that day when I realized we all make mistakes and the big question is what we do about them  (Resilience Factor of emotional awareness + self-regulation).  Looking back on that situation, I’m proud of the failure because it is one of my greatest turnaround stories, where I learnt how integrity + teamwork + accountability +risk taking come together.  I remember taking a breath, huddling a team and brainstorming an action plan in the absence of blame. And that situation definitely added to my resilience tank.

Things go wrong at work. It happens to all of us. Even multi-million dollar celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. In her book True Love, she tells the tale of a disastrous audition with famous director Oliver Stone and how she almost let her ego and shame of that experience prevent her from a role of a lifetime. Self regulation as a resilience muscle worked in her case too. Jennifer landed the role and learned a ton from mentors Sean Penn & Nick Nolte.


In the interview, Andrew mentions The Resilience Factor, a great book to learn more about factors and benefits of resilience.  Here are some additional resources to help you grow resilience:

4 ways to become a more resilient leader

Links between mindfulness & resilience 

20 Traits of a Resilient Female Leader 


What is one way situation where you need resilience? Using Andrew’s tips, what’s one action you can take to build resilience in this situation?




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