What is Resiliency?
Resiliency is the ability to focus on the mission instead of the means. It is the capability to switch from Plan A to Plan B, or C (even down to Plan Z if need be), to achieve the goal by whatever methods needed without violating the ethical standards you live by.
Client X doesn’t want to buy? Be ready to ask Y and # and σ and Q. Your production goals cannot be made or broken by any single case or client.
Power goes out? Not depending upon any single tool, or deal, or person is a hallmark of resiliency. You need to be as ready to help a client with the white board in your office or a napkin and pen as your high-powered high-priced software. Mastery in your craft and confidence in yourself are components of resiliency.
Assistant calls in sick? What is your backup plan? A pinch hitter from an agency? Use technology? Do it yourself, even if not as efficient for a little bit? Cross train other staff members to step in? How do you make sure that day is not wasted if part of your team is unavailable? Independence is part of resiliency.
And what if they are not coming back? How do you replace them? How do you replace yourself if need be? As Charles de Gaulle said, the cemetery is full of irreplaceable men. How do you complete the mission even if you are sidelined, or promoted out of the field, or on vacation? How do you make yourself replacable? Subsuming your ego to the vision and mission is critical to resiliency.
Car tire is flat, or Corona cancels that conference? Cut off by an idiot driver and spill coffee on your suit? Do you harbor anger and resentment or do you say “c’est la vie”, and look for the upside, the hidden reason to laugh at the absurdity of the situation? Humor (especially dark humor) is a key to resiliency.
Resiliency is like water. It flows, adapts, changes yet remains the same. It moves towards its goal around and over and through even mountains, worldwide. It can be boiled or frozen and return to its fluid state and continue the journey. As the resilient Bruce Lee said: be like water.