Tapping into leadership resilience
Leadership resilience - how to tap into it, how to maximize it and how to inspire it in others – was the topic for July’s Women In Business breakfast at our Essendon Fields HQ.
The discussion opened with our own Anita Lyons, from our Private Wealth division, sharing tales of resilience from her recent trek on the Kokoda Trail. Anita highlighted the challenges she faced in preparing for the trail – overcoming her natural shyness to engage sponsor donations and stage fundraising events, and training rigorously in all weathers – and explained the ways she drew on her innate resilience to overcome these challenges.
Anita talked about the value in focusing on her end goal and the reasons she had set that goal, drawing on her support network of colleagues, friends and family for support rather than trying to do everything herself, surrounding herself with positive people during training and finding external meaning during her Kokoda trek – namely assisting the young people on the trail to achieve their own goals – rather than fixating on her own struggles.
By drawing on her inbuilt resilience in these ways, Anita completed the Kokoda trail with relative ease and was commended by Matthews Steer’s General Manger Catherine Duncan for undertaking the best – and most innovative – executed fundraising of any Matthews Steer Kokoda walker.
The breakfast’s other attendees, a diverse range of professionals from fields including law, catering, travel, real estate, marketing, social media, logistics, manufacturing and accounting, then shared some of their own personal stories of resilience. One attendee described breaking her back in a skydiving accident and making the decision – as she was waiting to be found by the ambulance – to adopting a positive mindset for what she knew was going to be an exceptionally tough road to recovery. Essentially: ‘fake it ‘til you make it’.
The Mayor of Moonee Valley, Andrea Surace, said she saw resilience as achieving a balance and fair & equitable outcome, while Catherine Duncan talked about balancing empathy and impartiality as a means of getting past the internal battles that make business exciting and engaging, but at the same time can prevent a business from moving forward. She stressed the importance of tone and approach when tabling objections to entrenched policies or practices.
Another attendee stressed the importance of confidence in her own knowledge and ability in helping her develop resilience in a male-dominated profession. “I don’t care how old you are or what sex you are, I’m confident in what I’m saying and I’m going to put my viewpoint forward,” She said.
Most attendees agreed that, while tough times are inevitable in business, good always comes from challenge and it should be embraced as an opportunity to grow, learn and develop. And all stressed the importance of documenting their progress, in particular their challenging times, and stopping periodically to review and appreciate where they had come from and what they had achieved.
If you would like to enquire about future Matthews Steer women in business events please email firstname.lastname@example.org