The future of work is the topic of many articles, podcasts, and blogs these days. Addictions to smartphones and 24/7 access to emails and voice mails are the least of our worries. What will work look like when robotics or artificial intelligence become more commonplace? How will an aging workforce cope with the younger generations? How much disruption can we handle and not go crazy?
Becoming more resilient as leaders may hold some of the answers to these persistent questions. When we learn to use our mental processes and behaviors to promote and protect against outside forces, we can remain calmer during times of crisis and also rebound more quickly.
Being more resilient when things are changing is less about relying on what you already know and more about learning what will help you adapt. According to Diane Wu David, author of Future Proof, here are three ways to prepare for the future of work.
- Stay focused on core values. Resilient leaders have core values that allow them to filter through the noise. If you know who you are at your core, those values that never change, then you can move beyond the anxiety that accompanies change.
- Be adaptive and agile. Someone who is resilient knows how to assess their circumstances, make small adjustments, leverage a strength, or reinterpret a past experience into something new.
- Develop a capacity to learn. To remain resilient, one must never stop learning. That might also mean finding new ways to learn. There are best practices for learning that Dr. Barbara Oakley has created in her popular online course: “Learning How to Learn.”
Even if the future isn’t barreling toward us like a runaway train, these three skills would be worth paying attention to. Knowing where you stand, adapting when needed, and always being willing to learn should combine to ensure we are developing resilient leaders.
Don’t underestimate the importance of developing soft skills if you want to be a resilient leader.
There is always going to be a human side to work. Leaders who are self-aware and care about the wellbeing of others will be needed more than ever to offer stability in times of change.
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