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In this series, I have introduced you to the twenty superpowers that leaders need to possess to create an environment for resilience. This is an environment in which individuals and teams are resilient in the face of constant change.
Individual resilience is critical when the world around us is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Resilience means we can adapt to difficult situations and not just survive but thrive. Unless we do, the stress will overwhelm us, and we will suffer physically and mentally.
Each week we have explored one of those twenty superpowers. This is the last.
Superpower: The Protector
The Protector protects the team by making sure it has the capabilities and resources to be resilient.
The Protector’s language and behaviours say, “I care about you and I value your contribution.”
Leaders who protect their employees, support and stand up for them. They make sure they have everything they need to get the job done. They are not left to fend for themselves and flounder.
Protected employees are developed and coached to be the best they can be.
Leaders must protect their employees, wherever possible, from anything that might lower their resilience. This includes unnecessary distractions, poor prioritisation of work, overload of work, unclear goals and outcomes, and unconsidered demands from other parts of the organisation.
Leaders protect by encouraging employee personal well-being and modelling resilient behaviours. They provide autonomy and self-direction, and they are consistent, fair, honest and transparent. They provide opportunities for employees to recharge.
Make sure everyone knows you are there to protect them. Let them know you have their back. Look them in the eye and mean it. Be absolutely sincere.
Discuss with the team that protection means providing a safe workplace, capabilities and resources for resilience, clarity of expected outcomes, open and honest conversations, and care for their well-being.
Keep checking in and observer what is going on. Ask, “Are you ok?” “How are things going?” “How can I help?”
Most importantly, take action. You have to keep your promise to protect your staff.
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