I’ve had many managers in my time and these individuals have had very different managerial styles. It goes without saying that the people who’ve led me in a nurturing and uplifting manner have had more of an impact on my development and growth as a person – both in my career and personally – than those who merely shouted at me and insulted me when I did something wrong. These managers are not just managers; they are resilient leaders.
According to Bonang Mohale – chairman and country GM: commercial at Shell South Africa (Pty) Ltd and the driving force behind resilient leadership – a resilient leader is one who:
- Helps the people they manage look at themselves more positively,
- Keeps things in perspective,
- Takes care of themselves,
- Makes connections,
- Avoids seeing crises as insurmountable problems,
- Accepts that change is a part of living,
- Moves towards their goals, and
- Looks for opportunities for self-discovery.
Resilient leadership replaces the traditional stereotype of a vertical work relationship between a manager and the person he manages, a leader-follower relationship, with a horizontal model of leader-leader. Resilient leaders choose to emancipate others rather than just empower them.
- What are the benefits of resilient leadership?
- Bonang says that resilient leadership gives you the ability to:
- Bounce back from adversity,
- Thrive on new challenges,
- Impact others positively, and
- Reach your full potential by exercising your talents in a meaningful way.
- How to become a resilient leader
- ‘Don’t just empower – emancipate!’
Bonang’s passion and enthusiasm about resilient leadership completely bowled me over. I found myself getting excited about this leadership style as he gave me a breakdown of the do’s and don’ts of resilient leadership, which are listed in the table below:
|Don’t do this! (Leader-follower model)||Do this! (Leader-leader model)|
|Take control||Give control|
|Give orders||Avoid giving orders|
|When you give orders, be confident and unambigious||When you do give orders, leave room for questions|
|Have meetings||Have conversations|
|Have a montor-mentee programme||Have a mentor-mentor programme|
|Focus on technology||Focus on people|
|Think short term||Think long term|
|Have high-repetition, low-quality training sessions||Have low-repetition, high-quality training sessions|
|Limit communications to terse and formal orders||Communicate in a rich, contextual and informal manner|
|Question everything||Be curious about everything|
|Make inefficient processes efficient||Eliminate entire processes that don’t add value|
|Increase monitoring and inspection points||Reduce monitoring and inspection points|
|Protect information||Pass information|
* Leadership Development Conference presented by Knowledge Resources – PowerPoint slideshow by Bonang Mohale
The three Cs: Guiding mechanisms of resilient leadership
Resilient leadership is controlled, competent and clear. Each mechanism has several guiding principles leaders should try to follow.
- Act your way to new thinking,Short and early conversations make efficient work,
- Use “I intend to …” to turn passive followers into active leaders,
- Resist the urge to provide solutions,
- Eliminate top-down monitoring systems, and
- Think out loud (both superiors and subordinates).
- Take deliberate action,Learn – everywhere and all the time,
- Don’t brief – certify,
- Continuously and consistently repeat your message, and
- Specify goals, not methods.
- Achieve excellence; don’t just avoid errors,Build trust and take care of your people,
- Use your legacy for inspiration,
- Use guiding principles for decision-making criteria,
- Use immediate recognition to reinforce desired behaviours,
- Begin with the end in mind, and
- Encourage a questioning attitude and avoid blind obedience.
by Frew Murdoch
This article first appeared on HR Pulse.