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Resilience is more than perseverance

Resilience is more than perseverance

July 2016 by Stella Petrou Concha

Resilience is more than perseverance

As more and more people become connected through smart devices, how must the concept of resilience be reworked to take this into account?


Let's not beat around the bush, the finance sector is a challenging landscape. With constant deadlines and ever-changing fiscal environments, the stress of executive jobs in finance is a given.

Some leadership styles are based on grinding it out, but resilience also involves recovery.

With many calling stress the global health epidemic of this era, the impact is obvious. So what can leaders do to increase their resilience and resist the adverse effects of stress. 

Building resilience without endurance

Today's world is characterised by constant connectivity. As financial experts, we are always on through our phones, laptops and tablets, and this exposes many of us to highly-demanding cultures that foster stress.

Statistics from Deloitte show that Australia is home to approximately 15 million smartphones, with almost 80 per cent of nation owning one. But it's not just the volume of devices that is startling, it is also the frequency that we use them.

Whether it's a business owner chasing up an outstanding audit or a manager seeking guidance on a new tax rule, people are using their phones more and more. In fact, all together, Australians access their devices over 440 million times a day, while 15 percent of individuals will look at their phones between 50 and 200 times a day.  

As the pace and intensity of the commercial world is not likely to abate anytime soon, it is essential to build the resilience skills needed to navigate your work life. 

Resilience should always include recovery
Resilience should always include recovery.


Could the pillow be mightier than the sword?

When people think about resilience, they tend to take a militaristic approach. Whether it be "toughening up" or "grinding it out", we tend to imagine ourselves as a marine, slogging through endless pits of mud. However, the idea that the longer we slog it out, the tougher we become and therefore the more successful we will be is a fallacy. 

In fact, people who fail to implement a recovery period are holding back their own resilience and success. Research from the University of Amsterdam found a relationship between the lack of recovery time and increased incidences of health problems.

Whether it be a lack of sleep or constant arousal from smart devices, the cost is very real. Research from Harvard Medical School found that insomnia costs the US workforce close to US$63.2 billion a year, with the average worker losing 11.3 days through sick leave.

While it may seem like a show of strength, working past your limits can actually be detrimental to your overall productivity. Resilience is thus not just about grinding it out. Instead, it involves knowing when to lie down and when to spring back. 


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